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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. Alexander Hijzen, & Tomohiko Inui, & Yasuyuki Todo, . "Does Offshoring Pay? Firm-Level Evidence From Japan," Discussion Papers 07/14, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  2. 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.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2006. "The pathological export boom and the bazaar effect: How to solve the German puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 19602, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
  5. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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.
  7. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Dermot Leahy, & Catia Montagna, . "‘Make-or-Buy' in International Oligopoly and the Role of Competitive Pressure," Discussion Papers 07/05, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  11. Bartel, Ann P & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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