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Exploiting the Potential for Services Offshoring: Evidence from German Firms

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Abstract

Services offshoring is on the rise. Due to recent innovations in communication technologies, many services that used to be non-tradable can be delivered from distance today. Still, German services imports have grown much slower than exports over the past decades, indicating under-exploitation of the potential for services offshoring. To understand this development, the paper uses a newly combined dataset on German firms’ services trade, balance sheets, and foreign affiliates during 2001-2012. Estimation of a firm-level gravity model confirms that more productive firms offshore more, reveals complementarities between services imports and exports, and points towards the importance of intra-firm services trade. The paper establishes that the level of services offshoring is lower in industries with greater offshoring potentials, as captured by their task compositions, but offshoring growth tends to be higher there. These findings indicate that there exists a sizeable potential for services offshoring due to remaining trade barriers, which is yet to be exploited.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter S. Eppinger, 2014. "Exploiting the Potential for Services Offshoring: Evidence from German Firms," IAW Discussion Papers 109, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:108
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias Brändle, 2015. "Is offshoring linked to offshoring potential? Evidence from German linked employer–employee data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 151(4), pages 735-766, November.
    2. Tobias Brändle & Andreas Koch, 2014. "Offshoring and Outsourcing Potentials - Evidence from German Micro-Level Data," IAW Discussion Papers 110, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    3. bernhard Boockmann, 2014. "Offshoring Potential and Employment Dynamics," IAW Discussion Papers 111, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    4. Eppinger, Peter S., 2017. "Service offshoring and firm employment," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 103, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    5. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:9:p:1775-1806 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    offshoring; services trade; offshoring potential; trade in tasks;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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