The diffusion of outsourcing and vertical foreign direct investment (FDI) among manufacturing firms, along with the vertical integration of market services into manufacturing, is questioning the so called ‘Deindustrialisation/Tertiarisation’ (DT) hypothesis. In particular, it has been argued that DT might be an ‘apparent’ phenomenon, in fact amounting to a simple reorganisation of production across national and sectoral boundaries. The empirical studies that try to support this hypothesis, however, cannot be deemed conclusive as they suffer two methodological drawbacks: a non-(sub-)systemic sectoral level of analysis and a not truly global empirical approach. In order to overcome these drawbacks, the paper carries out an investigation of the actual extent to which DToccurred in the OECD area over the 1980s and the 1990s with two modifications: a sector instead of a subsystem perspective, retaining both direct and indirect relations and a ‘pseudo-world’ of seven OECD countries, thus taking into account the ‘global’ dimension of the phenomenon. Our results strongly support the DT hypothesis: although the weight of market services in the manufacturing subsystem increases, providing a counterbalance to manufacturing decline, subsystem shares significantly decrease, thus confirming DTas a more fundamental trend of the investigated period.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sandro_montresor/5/