Is labor flexibility a substitute to offshoring? Evidence from Italian manafacturing

We test whether labor flexibility acts as a substitute to delocalization. Using Italian survey data, we show that a higher share of temporary workers appears to reduce the likelihood of future offshoring. However, once reverse causality and spurious correlation are controlled for with IV techniques, the relationship vanishes. This finding suggests that the threat of delocalization to win support for further labor market reforms is probably misplaced.