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Productivity Gains and Spillovers from Offshoring

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Abstract

Offshoring is generally believed to be productivity enhancing and this belief is underpinned by economic theory. This paper estimates the impact of materials and business services offshoring on productivity in Belgium over the period 1995–2004. It contributes to the literature: (i) by examining this issue separately for manufacturing and market services industries and (ii) by investigating the possibility of forward and backward spillovers from offshoring, i.e. that productivity gains from offshoring feed through to upstream and downstream industries. Results show that materials offshoring has no effect on productivity, while business services offshoring leads to productivity gains in manufacturing. Furthermore, there is no evidence of either forward or backward spillovers from offshoring.

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