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Can we really trust offshoring indices?
Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (2013)
  • Davide Castellani, University of Perugia
  • Luca De Benedictis
  • Daniel Horgos
This paper argues that offshoring indices often measure something different than what we think they are. Using data from input-output tables of 21 European countries from 1995 to 2006 we decompose an offshoring index, distinguishing between a domestic (structural change) and an international component (imported inputs ratio). Regarding offshoring of business services, a large share of the index variation is driven by the domestic component. This is even more pronounced for overall service offshoring. In the case of material offshoring, by contrast, the international component drives the main variation of the indices. Our results therefore show that, regarding (business) services, the typical calculation of offshoring indices tends to over estimate the role of the imported inputs component, neglecting the role played by structural changes in the economy.
  • outsourcing,
  • import penetration,
  • offshoring,
  • index,
  • measurement
Publication Date
Spring June 2, 2013
Citation Information
Davide Castellani, Luca De Benedictis, and Daniel Horgos. 2012. "Can we really trust offshoring indices?" forthcoming (2013) in Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.