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The Effects of Production Offshoring on R&D and Innovation in the Home Country

Listed author(s):
  • Bernhard Dachs
  • Bernd Ebersberger

A strong innovation performance based on R&D, product development and the implementation of advanced production technologies is key for the long-term competitiveness of European economies. This study investigates the effects of production offshoring on R&D and innovation activities of the firm in the home country. The analysis is based on a dataset of more than 3000 manufacturing firms from seven European countries. We employ propensity score matching to compare R&D and innovation activities of firms which have offshored production activities in a previous period to a control group of non-offshoring firms. The analysis finds no negative effect of production offshoring on innovation and technological capabilities of firms in the home country. On contrary, offshoring firms spend significantly more on R&D or product design, and invest more in process innovation than non-offshoring firms. These results support a view on internationalisation of firms that regards offshoring as a strategy of international expansion, and not a passive reaction of firms to a loss of their competitiveness. Our results indicate that this expansion goes hand in hand with innovation and process modernization at home.

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Paper provided by FIW in its series FIW Research Reports series with number V-001.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Handle: RePEc:wsr:ecbook:2013:i:v-001
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