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Does Offshoring of Materials and Business Services Affect Employment? Evidence from a Small Open Economy

  • Michel, Bernhard


    (Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium)

  • Rycx, Francois


    (Free University of Brussels)

The fear of massive job losses has prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. It improves the offshoring intensity measure by computing a volume measure of the share of imported intermediates in output and it is among the first to address both materials and business services offshoring to high-wage and low-wage countries. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4164.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2012, 44 (2), 229 - 251
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4164
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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Phillip Swagel, 2006. "The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing," NBER Working Papers 12398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cadarso, Maria Angeles & Gomez, Nuria & Lopez, Luis Antonio & Tobarra, Maria Angeles, 2008. "The EU enlargement and the impact of outsourcing on industrial employment in Spain, 1993-2003," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 95-108, March.
  3. Michel Dumont, 2006. "Foreign outsourcing, labour demand and the choice of functional form," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 255-273, November.
  4. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is It Justified?," NBER Working Papers 10808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 93-114, Fall.
  7. Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2004. "The Role of Globalization in the Within-Industry Shift Away from Unskilled Workers in France," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 209-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alexander Hijzen & Holger Görg & Robert C. Hine, 2004. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 437, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  18. Arndt, Sven W. & Kierzkowski, Henryk (ed.), 2001. "Fragmentation: New Production Patterns in the World Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199243310, July.
  19. Falk, Martin & Wolfmayr, Yvonne, 2008. "Services and materials outsourcing to low-wage countries and employment: Empirical evidence from EU countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 38-52, March.
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