May 2009

IZA DP No. 4164: Does Offshoring of Materials and Business Services Affect Employment? Evidence from a Small Open Economy

published in: Applied Economics, 2012, 44 (2), 229 - 251

The fear of massive job losses has prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. It improves the offshoring intensity measure by computing a volume measure of the share of imported intermediates in output and it is among the first to address both materials and business services offshoring to high-wage and low-wage countries. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003.