Using microdata, we analyse the determinants of firm relocation and conventional outsourcing decisions as a way to reduce employment. The results for a sample of 32 countries show the relevance of factors not considered previously in the literature. Firms that are below average in quality or innovation have a higher propensity to externalise part of their production through outsourcing, while lower relative profitability and longer time to market for new products each imply a higher probability of relocation.
Job losses, outsourcing and relocation
Using microdata, we analyse the determinants of firm relocation and outsourcing decisions and their effects on firms’ employment decisions. The results for a sample of 32 countries show that both strategies have been more intense in the EU-15 countries than in the rest and that, in some cases, they have been complementary. Regarding the determinants, we have found that while some characteristics such as size, age, activity sector, main market or belonging to a group affect both decisions, other such as a higher innovation, demand sensitivity or productivity explain why some firms choose to subcontract instead of relocate.
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