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Offshoring and Immigrant Employment: Firm-level Theory and Evidence

  • Barba Navaretti, Giorgio
  • Bertola, Giuseppe
  • Sembenelli, Alessandro

We propose and solve a simple model of firm-level decisions to offshore production stages of lower skill intensity than that of activities that remain in the domestic location. In theory, offshoring is optimal only for the more productive among heterogeneous firms if it entails a fixed cost. In a large sample of Italian firms, offshoring - especially of intermediate production stages - is indeed more prevalent among firms that are larger and more productive, and is predicted by arguably relevant firm-level characteristics. We also document that offshoring decreases the share of unskilled employment in domestic production facilities as well as firms’ propensity to employ immigrant workers, and we discuss the possible determinants and policy implication of the latter finding.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6743.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6743
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  1. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Fear of service outsourcing: is it justified?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 308-347, 04.
  2. Patricio Aroca & William F. Maloney, 2005. "Migration, Trade, and Foreign Direct Investment in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(3), pages 449-472.
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  4. Francesco Daveri & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, 2008. "Off-Shoring and Productivity Growth in the Italian Manufacturing Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2288, CESifo Group Munich.
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  7. Luigi Benfratello & Tiziano Razzolini, 2008. "Firms’ Productivity and Internationalisation Choices: Evidence for a Large Sample of Italian Firms," Development Working Papers 236, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
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  11. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2007. "Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 13389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hijzen, Alexander & Görg, Holger & Hine, Robert C., 2004. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," IZA Discussion Papers 1249, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2005. "Skilled emigration, business networks and foreign direct investment," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0503, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact Of Outsourcing And High-Technology Capital On Wages: Estimates For The United States, 1979-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940, August.
  16. Baldwin, Richard & Venables, Anthony J, 1994. "International Migration, Capital Mobility and Transitional Dynamics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(243), pages 285-300, August.
  17. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2000. "Outsourcing and skill-specific employment in a small economy: Austria and the fall of the Iron Curtain," Economics working papers 2000-24, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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