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Service Offshoring, Productivity and Employment: Evidence from the US

  • Amiti, Mary
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

The practice of sourcing service inputs from overseas suppliers has been growing in response to new technologies. This paper estimates the effects of offshoring on productivity in US manufacturing industries between 1992 and 2000, using instrumental variables estimation to address the potential endogeneity of offshoring. It finds that service offshoring has a significant positive effect on productivity in the US, accounting for around 11% of productivity growth during this period. Offshoring material inputs also has a positive effect on productivity, but the magnitude is smaller accounting for approximately 5% of productivity growth. There is a small negative effect of less than half a percent on employment when industries are finely disaggregated (450 manufacturing industries). However, this affect disappears at more aggregate industry level of 96 industries indicating that there is sufficient growth in demand in other industries within these broadly defined classifications to offset any negative effects.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5475.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5475
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  1. Isabel Grilo & Tito Cordella, 1998. "Globalization and Relocation in a Vertically Differentiated Industry," IMF Working Papers 98/48, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Amiti, Mary, 2005. "Location of vertically linked industries: agglomeration versus comparative advantage," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 809-832, May.
  3. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is It Justified?," NBER Working Papers 10808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  11. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg, 2003. "Outsourcing, Foreign Ownership and Productivity: Evidence from UK Establishment Level Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 361, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  12. Ernst R. Berndt & Catherine J. Morrison & Larry S. Rosenblum, 1992. "High-Tech Capital Formation and Labor Composition in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: An Exploratory Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  14. Ekholm, Karolina & Hakkala, Katariina, 2006. "The Effect of Offshoring on Labour Demand: Evidence from Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 5648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Dixit, Avinash K & Grossman, Gene M, 1982. "Trade and Protection with Multistage Production," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 583-94, October.
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