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Services Outsourcing and Innovation: An Empirical Investigation

  • Görg, Holger

    ()

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Hanley, Aoife

    ()

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

We provide a comprehensive empirical analysis of the links between international services outsourcing, domestic outsourcing, profits and innovation using plant level data. We find a positive effect of international outsourcing of services on innovative activity at the plant level. Such a positive effect can also be observed for domestic outsourcing of services, but the magnitude is smaller. This makes intuitive sense, as international outsourcing allows more scope for exploiting international factor price differentials, therefore giving the establishment higher profits and more scope to restructure production activities towards innovation. We also find that international services outsourcing has a positive effect on profitability, as predicted by theory, while this is not true for domestic sourcing. The results are robust to various specifications and an instrumental variables analysis.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4404.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Inquiry, 2011, 49(2), 321-333
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4404
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  1. Criscuolo, Chiara & Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2010. "Global engagement and the innovation activities of firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 191-202, March.
  2. Dermot Leahy & Catia Montagna, 2007. "Make-Or-Buy’ In International Oligopoly And The Role Of Competitive Pressure," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1901107.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940.
  4. Alexander Hijzen, & Tomohiko Inui, & Yasuyuki Todo, . "Does Offshoring Pay? Firm-Level Evidence From Japan," Discussion Papers 07/14, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  5. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Swenson, Deborah L., 2004. "Entry costs and outsourcing decisions: evidence from the U.S. overseas assembly provision," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 267-286, December.
  7. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Amiti, Mary & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "Service Offshoring, Productivity and Employment: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5475, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2006. "The Pathological Export Boom and the Bazaar Effect: How to Solve the German Puzzle," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1157-1175, 09.
  10. Sugata Marjit & Arijit Mukherjee, 2008. "Profit reducing international outsourcing," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 21-35.
  11. Mark Cassidy & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2005. "Knowledge Accumulation, And Productivity: Evidence From Plant-Level Data For Ireland," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 344-358, 07.
  12. Ann Bartel & Saul Lach & Nachum Sicherman, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 11158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kohn, Meir & Scott, John T, 1982. "Scale Economies in Research and Development: The Schumpeterian Hypothesis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 239-49, March.
  14. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
  15. Geishecker, Ingo & Görg, Holger, 2007. "Winners and losers: A Micro-level Analysis of International Outsourcing and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 6484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
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