Productive Offshoring: Evidence from Spain

48 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2018

See all articles by Ishan Ghosh

Ishan Ghosh

Drexel University - Bennett S. LeBow College of Business

Date Written: December 4, 2018


Fragmentation of production and sourcing of intermediates from across the globe, popularly referred to as offshoring, is typically associated with lost jobs and displaced workers. Often ignored however, is a dimension of productivity-enhancing, within-firm reorganization spurred by offshoring. This paper provides novel evidence that such reorganization can take place in the form of increased innovation expenditure and change in firm level employment composition in favor of high-skilled workers. Using firm level microdata from the manufacturing sector in Spain, we construct a plausibly exogenous measure of offshoring and show that, following the financial crisis of 2008, offshoring has a positive effect on R&D expenditures and high-skilled employment in Spain. These findings are consistent with a heterogeneous firms model where reduction in trade costs augments the productivity of offshoring firms through the intensive margin of technology investments.

Keywords: Offshoring, R&D, Productivity, International Trade, Firm Dynamics

JEL Classification: L25, F14, F61

Suggested Citation

Ghosh, Ishan, Productive Offshoring: Evidence from Spain (December 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Ishan Ghosh (Contact Author)

Drexel University - Bennett S. LeBow College of Business ( email )

101 N. 33rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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