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Greasing the Wheels of International Commerce: How Services Facilitate Firms' International Sourcing

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  • Debaere, Peter
  • Görg, Holger
  • Raff, Horst

Abstract

We use unique plant-level data to study the link between the local availability of services and the decision of manufacturing firms to source materials from abroad. To guide our empirical analysis we develop a monopolistic-competition model of the materials sourcing decisions of heterogeneous firms. The model generates predictions about how the intensity of international sourcing of materials depends on a firm's productivity and the availability of local services. These predictions are supported by the data. We find evidence that more productive manufacturing firms tend to have a higher ratio of imported materials to sales. In addition, we find evidence that services grease the wheels of international commerce: A greater availability of services across regions, industries and time increases a firm's foreign sourcing of materials relative to sales. Interestingly, this positive impact of local service availability on imports especially applies to stand-alone firms that, unlike multinationals, are less likely to rely on imported or internally provided services.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7675.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7675

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Keywords: firm heterogeneity; international trade; off-shoring; services; supply chain management;

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References

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  1. Horst Raff & Nicolas Schmitt, 2009. "Imports, Pass-Through, and the Structure of Retail Markets," Kiel Working Papers 1556, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Deardorff, A.V., 2000. "International Provision of Trade Services, Trade, and Fragmentation," Working Papers 463, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  6. Stephen S. Golub & Ronald W. Jones & Henryk Kierzkowski, 2007. "Globalization and Country-Specific Service Links," RCER Working Papers 532, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
  8. GIRMA, Sourafel & GOERG, Holger & STROBL, Eric, 2004. "Exports, international investment, and plant performance : evidence from a non-parametric test," CORE Discussion Papers 2004009, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 3196327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Joseph F. Francois, 1990. "Trade in Producer Services and Returns Due to Specialization under Monopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 109-24, February.
  12. Stephen S. Golub & Ronald W. Jones & Henryk Kierzkowski, 2007. "Globalization and Country-Specific Service Links," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 63-88.
  13. Van Long, Ngo & Riezman, Raymond & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2005. "Fragmentation and services," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 137-152, March.
  14. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," NBER Working Papers 12091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Breinlich, Holger & Criscuolo, Chiara, 2010. "International Trade in Services: A Portrait of Importers and Exporters," CEPR Discussion Papers 7837, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Stephen S. Golub, Ronald W. Jones, Henryk Kierzkowski, 2007. "Globalization and Country-Specific Service Links," IHEID Working Papers 05-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  17. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  18. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Stephen S. Golub & Ronald W. Jones & Henryk Kierzkowski, 2007. "Globalization and Country-Specific Service Links," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 63-88.
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Cited by:
  1. Horst Raff & Natalia Trofimenko, 2013. "World Market Access of Emerging-Market Firms: The Role of Foreign Ownership and Access to External Finance," CESifo Working Paper Series 4346, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2014. "Global Value Chains: Surveying Drivers, Measures and Impacts," Working Papers w201403, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  3. Bianka Dettmer, 2012. "Business services outsourcing and economic growth: Evidence from a dynamic panel data approach," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-049, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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