Research for evidence on offshoring activities and its driving forces has been done by analyzing gross trade flows related to offshoring using gravity equations augmented by ad hoc measures of supply-side country differences. We develop a specification grounded in incomplete specialization that views bilateral gravity equations as statistical relationships constrained on countries' multilateral specialization patterns. We apply this approach to an empirical analysis of the European trade in parts and components. Our results bring evidence that bilateral trade related to offshoring activities across Europe is driven by countries' multilateral specialization incentives that are expressed by specific supply-side country differences relative to the rest of the world.
International trade gravity model offshoring panel data European Union