Discussion paper

DP10864 Offshoring and Skill-upgrading in French Manufacturing: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Melitz View

We present a factor-proportions trade model in which heterogeneous firms can offshore intermediate inputs subject to fixed offshoring costs. In the skill-abundant country, high-productivity firms offshore a larger range of labor-intensive inputs to the labor-abundant countries than low-productivity firms. Differently from the traditional versions of factor-proportions trade theory, Heckscher-Ohlin forces operate at the within-industry level, leading to endogenous variation in skill intensity across firms that is positively correlated with firm productivity. Using French firm-level data for the years 1996 to 2007, we provide empirical support for the factor proportions channel through which offshoring to labor-abundant countries affects the firm-level skill intensities of French manufacturers.

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Citation

Cuñat, A, H Fadinger, C Fons-Rosen and J Carluccio (eds) (2015), “DP10864 Offshoring and Skill-upgrading in French Manufacturing: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Melitz View”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 10864. https://cepr.org/publications/dp10864