Knowledge, Technology and Internationalization
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Urban Gråsjö and Sofia Wixe
Chapter 11: Manufacturing renaissance: return of manufacturing to western countries
AbstractThis chapter argues that the location of manufacturing is gradually shifting to the west again, exemplifying the ‘manufacturing renaissance’. Such a claim is based on the recent observed trend and the discussion is contextualized within the established theory that has been able to explain the location of manufacturing, that is, the product life cycle (PLC) model. Then the chapter identifies and discusses the four main drivers of this new phenomenon: (i) rising wage levels in emerging economies; (ii) falling quality of business milieu in emerging economies; (iii) emergence of new process innovations in western economies; and (iv) rising demand for western-made manufacturing. Finally, it is noted that the return of manufacturing should be kept in proportion to the amount of manufacturing activities that are still being offshored to less developed countries (LDCs), and not all industries are coming back to the west at the same pace.
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