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Abstract

The paper presents an empirical analysis of “outsourcing” using establishment-level data for UK manufacturing industries. The authors analyze an establishment's decision to outsource and the subsequent effects of outsourcing on the establishment's productivity. Outsourcing is compared in domestic with foreign-owned establishments. The empirical results suggest that high wages are positively related to outsourcing, suggesting that the cost-saving motive is important. Foreign-owned firms have higher levels of outsourcing than domestic establishments. In the productivity analysis, an establishment's outsourcing intensity is positively related to its labor productivity and total factor productivity growth, and this effect is more pronounced for foreign establishments.