IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Does ICT Investment Spur or Hamper Offshoring? Empirical Evidence from Microdata

  • Luigi Benfratello


    (Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino)

  • Tiziano Razzolini


    (Department of Economics, University of Siena)

  • Alessandro Sembenelli


    (Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino)

In this paper we provide empirical evidence on the effect of ICT investment on the propensity to offshore for a large sample of Italian manufacturing firms. Contrary to previous literature focusing on the service sector, after taking into account the endogeneity of ICT investment in the offshoring decision equation we find a negative and significant effect of ICT on the propensity to offshore some stages of the production process. Furthermore this effect turns out not to depend on the type of ICT investment and applies both to hardware and software/telecommunication expenditures. A potential explanation for our finding is that ICT investments in manufacturing increase the complementarity of production processes within the firm, thereby reducing the incentive to offshore. Our results seem therefore to suggest that negative exogenous shocks to ICT prices–possibly induced by targeted policy programs aimed at the diffusion of ICT technologies–do not favor offshoring of manufacturing activities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino in its series Working papers with number 5.

in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tur:wpaper:5
Contact details of provider: Postal: Corso Unione Sovietica, 218/bis - 10134 TORINO
Phone: +39 011 670.6129
Fax: +39 011 670.6062
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Nick Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The distinct effects of information technology and communication technology on firm organization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25477, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Keane, Michael P, 1992. "A Note on Identification in the Multinomial Probit Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(2), pages 193-200, April.
  3. Verhoogen, Eric A, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 6385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Laura Abramovsky & Rachel Griffith, 2005. "Outsourcing and offshoring of business services: how important is ICT?," IFS Working Papers W05/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Gregory Mankiw, N. & Swagel, Phillip, 2006. "The politics and economics of offshore outsourcing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1027-1056, July.
  6. Silvia Fabiani & Fabiano Schivardi & Sandro Trento, 2005. "ICT adoption in Italian manufacturing: firm-level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 225-249, April.
  7. Edward E. Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," NBER Working Papers 8450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Elisabetta Magnani, 2006. "Technological diffusion, the diffusion of skill and the growth of outsourcing in US manufacturing," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(7), pages 617-647.
  9. Rasel, Fabienne, 2012. "Offshoring and ICT: Evidence for German manufacturing and service firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-087, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Keller, Wolfgang & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2009. "Global Production and Trade in the Knowledge Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7175, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "What's driving the new economy? The benefits of workplace innovation," Staff Reports 118, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is It Justified?," NBER Working Papers 10808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Matteo Bugamelli & Patrizio Pagano, 2004. "Barriers to investment in ICT," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(20), pages 2275-2286.
  14. Massimo G. Colombo & Marco Delmastro, 2004. "Delegation of Authority In Business Organizations: An Empirical Test," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 53-80, 03.
  15. Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2008. "Outsourcing, Information Leakage and Consulting Firms," Working Papers 08-7, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  16. Van Reenen, John & Caroli, Eve, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10093, Paris Dauphine University.
  17. Kuldeep Kumar & Paul C van Fenema & Mary Ann von Glinow, 2009. "Offshoring and the global distribution of work: Implications for task interdependence theory and practice," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 642-667, May.
  18. Alla Lileeva & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Outsourcing when Investments are Specific and Complementary," Working Papers tecipa-287, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  19. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  20. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
  21. Bartel, Ann P. & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2009. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 4678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Anna Giunta & Francesco Trivieri, 2007. "Understanding the determinants of information technology adoption: evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(10), pages 1325-1334.
  23. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1279-1333 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Mol, Michael J., 2005. "Does being R&D intensive still discourage outsourcing?: Evidence from Dutch manufacturing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 571-582, May.
  25. Thomas Hempell & Thomas Zwick, 2008. "New Technology, Work Organisation, And Innovation," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 331-354.
  26. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  27. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "The rise of offshoring: it's not wine for cloth anymore," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 59-102.
  28. Mirko Draca & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Productivity and ICT: A Review of the Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  29. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Riccardo Lucchetti & Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2004. "The Adoption of ICT among SMEs: Evidence from an Italian Survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 151-168, 09.
  31. Wouter Dessein & Tano Santos, 2006. "Adaptive Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 956-985, October.
  32. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "A Flat World, a Level Playing Field, a Small World After All, or None of the Above? A Review of Thomas L Friedman's The World is Flat," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 83-126, March.
  33. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. repec:bla:randje:v:38:y:2007:i:1:p:260-289 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:85-120 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2007. "Outsourcing, information leakage, and consulting firms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 269-289, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tur:wpaper:5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simone Pellegrino)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.