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Outsourcing, Regional Trade and Specialization: An Application to in the German Pig Sector

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  • Hess, Sebastian

Abstract

The global trend of industrializing agriculture increasingly transforms farms and firms into specialized component suppliers within a multi-stage food processing chain, which creates intraindustry trade between- and within geographical regions. This can be analyzed within the framework of a hypothetical multiregional food-processing firm that benefits from outsourcing various ‘tasks’ to other sub-contracting regions, in order to utilize lower production cost there. This is modeled as a multi-output cost minimization problem of the processing firm, and it is argued that with respect to agriculture, the outsourcing opportunities for the firm are determined by economies of diversification. Trade is implicitly reflected as the movement of intermediate factors towards the processing firm, and firm-level specialization of the sub-contractors is an observable outcome. This framework is applied to pig production in 1150 municipalities in southern Germany. The estimated multi-output production frontier is decomposed according to a primal measure of diversification economies. Results show that pig farms located closer to slaughterhouses tend to specialize more in one of the tasks ‘piglet production’, ‘rearing’ or ‘fattening’, while farms in regions distant from slaughterhouses tend to in-source all of these tasks. Future research may extend the framework towards comparative static analyses of relevant policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland with number 114537.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae11:114537

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Keywords: Outsourcing; Trade of Tasks; Economies of Diversification; Pig Production; International Relations/Trade; Livestock Production/Industries;

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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Kim, Kwansoo, 2010. "Economies of diversification: A generalization and decomposition of economies of scope," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 229-235, August.
  3. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Richard Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2013. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An integrating framework," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 13103, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  5. Marie-Luise Rau & Frank van Tongeren, 2009. "Heterogeneous firms and homogenising standards in agri-food trade: the Polish meat case," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 479-505, December.
  6. Rosario Crin�, 2009. "Offshoring, Multinationals And Labour Market: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 197-249, 04.
  7. Reardon, Thomas & Barrett, Christopher B., 2000. "Agroindustrialization, globalization, and international development An overview of issues, patterns, and determinants," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 23(3), September.
  8. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2118, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Philipp Harms & Oliver Lorz & Dieter M. Urban, 2009. "Offshoring along the Production Chain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2564, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Nikolaev, Denis, 2007. "The reasons of creation and development of holding agro industrial structures in system of vertical integration sugar business in Russia," 102nd Seminar, May 17-18, 2007, Moscow, Russia 10015, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  11. Greenaway, David & Gullstrand, Joakim & Kneller, Richard, 2008. "Surviving globalisation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 264-277, March.
  12. Maureen Kilkenny, 2002. "The New Rural Economy: Discussion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1253-1255.
  13. Jean-Paul Chavas, 2008. "On the economics of agricultural production ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(4), pages 365-380, December.
  14. Evan Rawley & Timothy S. Simcoe, 2010. "Diversification, Diseconomies of Scope, and Vertical Contracting: Evidence from the Taxicab Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1534-1550, September.
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