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Services Outsourcing and Innovation: An empirical investigation

  • Holger Görg
  • Aoife Hanley

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 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 Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1417.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1417
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alexander Hijzen & Tomohiko Inui & Yasuyuki Todo, 2010. "Does Offshoring Pay? Firm-Level Evidence From Japan," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 880-895, October.
  5. Ann Bartel & Saul Lach & Nachum Sicherman, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 11158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dermot, Leahy & Catia, Montagna, 2007. "‘Make-or-Buy’ in International Oligopoly and the Role of Competitive Pressure," MPRA Paper 7468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ingo Geishecker & Holger Görg, 2008. "Winners and losers: a micro-level analysis of international outsourcing and wages," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 243-270, February.
  8. Chiara Criscuolo & Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Global Engagement and the Innovation Activities of Firms," NBER Working Papers 11479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Offshore production and skill upgrading by Japanese manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 81-105, October.
  10. 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.
  11. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J, 2000. "Globalization and Labour-Market Adjustment: How Fast and at What Cost?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 42-56, Autumn.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Shepherd, William G, 1972. "The Elements of Market Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(1), pages 25-37, February.
  17. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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