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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. F. Daveri & C. Jona-Lasinio, 2007. "Off-shoring and productivity growth in the Italian manufacturing industries," Economics Department Working Papers 2007-EP08, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  2. 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.
  3. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," NBER Working Papers 12091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. 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.
  8. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Howard J. Wall, 2010. "Immigration and Outsourcing: A General-Equilibrium Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(s1), pages 433-446, 08.
  9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," Working Papers 2006.52, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Maurice Kugler & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Skilled Emigration, Business Networks and Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1455, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. 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.
  12. Alexander Hijzen & Holger Görg & Robert C. Hine, 2005. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 860-878, October.
  13. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
  17. 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.
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