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Financialisation and the dynamics of offshoring in the USA


  • William Milberg
  • Deborah Winkler


Imports are linked to higher cost mark-ups and firm profits, and the gains from such non-competitive imports--the result of offshoring--are increasingly associated with the reinvestment of these higher profits. Our regression analysis of 35 US manufacturing and service industries over the period 1998--2006 supports aggregate and firm-level studies showing that offshoring is associated with a higher share of corporate profit in total value added. But the 'dynamic' gains from offshoring have not been fully realised because firms have purchased financial assets--especially share buybacks and higher dividend payments--to raise shareholder value, rather than investing in productive assets that raise productivity, growth, employment and income. Despite the corporate sector's contribution to national savings over the past decade, the offshoring--financialisation linkage reduces the capacity of non-financial corporations to act as a driver of the recovery from the economic crisis that emerged in 2008. Copyright The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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  • William Milberg & Deborah Winkler, 2010. "Financialisation and the dynamics of offshoring in the USA," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 275-293, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:34:y:2010:i:2:p:275-293

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas R. Michl, 1988. "The Two-Stage Decline in U.S. Nonfinancial Corporate Profitability, 1948-1986," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 1-22, December.
    2. James Crotty, 2009. "Structural causes of the global financial crisis: a critical assessment of the 'new financial architecture'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 563-580, July.
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