Yes, reducing the absorption means the same as adding less water to the dough, or reducing the amount of water added to the dough.
Neither pure oil, or liquid shortening contain any water, they are both 100% fat, but as liquids, they will effectively have a similar affect on the dough as water with regard to dough viscosity. Both oil and liquid shortening will contribute to making the dough somewhat softer feeling, and more easily stretched in the same way as adding more water to the dough would. This is the reason why, in some cases, like when we are pushing the dough absorption to the max, we must actually reduce the amount of water added when we increase the oil content, failure to do so would result in a dough that would be softer than desired. I was just out on a consulting job last week and we had to make a significant increase in the oil content of the dough, to do this without allowing the dough to get too soft, I had to reduce the water by the same amount as I had increased the oil content. Don’t worry about this though as this only happens in rare cases.
To answer the last part of your question, yes, adding more water to the dough does contribute to making for a crispier finished crust. To maximize the dough absorption you keep increasing the dough adborption until the dough begins to get sticky or difficult to handle, then back of a little (about 2% of the flour weight is usually sufficient) and that is the maximum absorption for your dough, with your dough management procedure, and your forming procedure. This should give you the crispiest finished crust with regard to dough absorption. Do keep in mind though that there are other things that affect the final crispiness of the crust too aside from dough absorption.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor