Bringing it all back home? Backshoring of manufacturing activities and the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies

28  November 2019    3:00 pm CET

Bernhard Dachs, Austrian Institute of Technology

In cooperation with:


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna


The presentation is based on a paper co-authored with Steffen Kinkel and Angela Jäger.

We investigate the relationship between backshoring of production activities and digital manufacturing technologies, also known as Industry 4.0 (I4.0). We argue that I4.0 supports backshoring because it provides a higher productivity and flexibility which offers an incentive for firms to locate production close to their European customers.
The empirical test is based on a large dataset of 1700 manufacturing firms from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Backshoring is still a rare event with a share of around 4% of all firms. Descriptive statistics as well as regression results indicate a positive correlation between the adoption of I4.0 technologies and companies’ backshoring propensity.

Paper and presentation, when available, are posted online after the seminar.

Keywords: Backshoring, Offshoring, Industry 4.0, Technology

JEL classification: F23, F6, L6, O33