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Globalisation of production and innovation: how outsourcing is reshaping an advanced manufacturing area

Author

Listed:
  • Lucia Cusmano

    (CESPRI – Bocconi University, Milano, Italy and Insubria University, Varese, Italy)

  • Maria Luisa Mancusi

    (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.)

  • Andrea Morrison

    (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy.)

Abstract

Pervasive outsourcing is transforming business models and productive relations in advanced manufacturing areas. In particular, the international dimension of outsourcing, off-shoring, has been attracting great attention, as it leads to the emergence of global value chains and internationally distributed innovation processes, affecting the position of regions and countries in the international division of labour. The present paper investigates the diversified patterns of outsourcing and off-shoring across industries which have been characterising the recent dynamics of Lombardy, the Italian leading economic region. Based on a large firm-level survey, the work investigates extent, depth, regional embeddedness and degree of internationalisation of outsourcing processes, differentiating between stages of production, research and service activities. The evidence suggests that fragmentation is remarkably wide and interests all the industrial sectors to a similar extent. However, outsourcing has a clear regional dimension, concerning services at most, and taking the form of extended producer-driven chains, highly embedded in the regional system. Regionally confined fragmentation is driven by final producers of relatively small size, which nevertheless exhibit high skill intensity. Off-shoring is still, on the other hand, a limited phenomenon, encompassing only a minor fraction of the process of deverticalisation. The evidence depicts off-shoring as part of a wider process of internationalisation by mostly large firms or group subsidiaries at intermediate stages of the value chain, which increasingly rely on international intra-industry trade. The international outsourcing trend appears to be strongly driven by export-oriented firms, whereas foreign direct investment per se seems to play a minor role.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Cusmano & Maria Luisa Mancusi & Andrea Morrison, 2006. "Globalisation of production and innovation: how outsourcing is reshaping an advanced manufacturing area," KITeS Working Papers 194, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp194
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
    2. Ron Boschma, 2004. "Competitiveness of Regions from an Evolutionary Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 1001-1014.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lema, Rasmus & Quadros, Ruy & Schmitz, Hubert, 2015. "Reorganising global value chains and building innovation capabilities in Brazil and India," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1376-1386.
    2. Manuel Artis & Raul Ramos & Jordi Suriñach, 2006. "Job losses, outsourcing and relocation, empirical evidence using microdata," IREA Working Papers 200601, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Dec 2006.
    3. Elia, Stefano & Maggi, Elena & Mariotti, Ilaria, 2011. "Does the transport industry gain from manufacturing internationalization? An empirical investigation on the Italian regions," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 49, pages 53-74.
    4. da Silveira, Giovani J.C., 2014. "An empirical analysis of manufacturing competitive factors and offshoring," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 163-173.
    5. Liza Jabbour & Maria Pluvia Zuniga, "undated". "Drivers of the Offshore Outsourcing of R&D: Empirical Evidence from French Manufacturers," Discussion Papers 09/04, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    6. Lucia Cusmano & Andrea Morrison & Enrico Pandolfo, 2015. "Spin-off and clustering: a return to the Marshallian district," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 49-66.
    7. Valeria Gattai & Valentina Trovato, 2014. "Estimating sourcing premia with Italian regional data," Working Papers 276, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
    8. Pinuccia Calia & Maria Ferrante, 2013. "How do firms combine different internationalisation modes? A multivariate probit approach," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(4), pages 663-696, December.
    9. Charlie Karlsson & Urban Gråsjö & Sofia Wixe (ed.), 2015. "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15906.
    10. Kluck, Christian, 2012. "Zur Beschäftigungsdynamik in der Wissensökonomie: Die Entwicklung von wissensintensiven-unternehmensorientierten Dienstleistungen in Deutschland," Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsgeographie und Regionalentwicklung 2-2012, Universität Bremen, Institut für Geographie.
    11. Ida D'Attoma & Silvia Pacei, 2014. "Offshoring and Firm Performance: Evidence from the Italian Manufacturing Industry," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 29-44, February.
    12. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2014. "Trust your neighbour. Industrial relatedness, social capital and outsourcing," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1403, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2014.
    13. Canello, Jacopo, 2016. "Migrant entrepreneurs and local networks in industrial districts," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1953-1964.
    14. Deschryvere, Matthias & Kotiranta, Annu, 2008. "Domestic Employment Effects of Offshoring: Empirical Evidence from Finland," Discussion Papers 1166, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    15. Davide Antonioli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Sandro Montresor & Paolo Pini, 2015. "Outsourcing and Firm Productivity in a Specific Local Production System: Evidence from Reggio Emilia (Italy)," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 292-320, June.
    16. Ruth Rama & Adelheid Holl, 2013. "Subcontracting relationships," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 28 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. repec:bla:presci:v:96:y:2017:i:2:p:299-323 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Liza Jabbour & Pluvia Zuniga, 2016. "The Outsourcing of Research and Development in Global Markets: Evidence from France," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 339-368, March.
    19. Gattai Valeria & Trovato Valentina, 2016. "Estimating Sourcing Premia Using Italian Regional Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1029-1067, April.
    20. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2015. "Infrastructure endowment, social capital and outsourcing: evidence from Emilia Romagna, Italy," Chapters,in: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy, chapter 13, pages 310-330 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Outsourcing; Offshoring; R&D; Regional system.;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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