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Trade Liberalization, Offshoring and Firm Heterogeneity

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  • Vincent Rebeyrol

Abstract

This paper analyses the impact of trade liberalization in a model where heterogeneous firms can freely offshore their production. Firms choose whether to produce, and if so whether to sell on the domestic market only or on the export market as well. Simultaneously, they also choose where to locate their production. The paper shows that the interaction between heterogeneity in firm productivity and the possibility of offshoring production dramatically alters the impact of trade liberalization. Three main results emerge from this interaction: i) Intra-industry factor reallocation towards the most productive firms, which is induced by trade liberalization, operates at the world level, but not necessarily at the country level and thus trade liberalization can lead to average productivity losses in some countries; ii) Trade liberalization may reverse country specialization independently of any country size effect; iii) The relation between trade liberalization and trade growth is non-linear, even in the absence of trade in intermediate goods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2009/26.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/26

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Keywords: Trade Liberalization; Offshoring; Firm Heterogeneity; Trade Patterns; Average Productivity;

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  1. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  4. Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2002. "On the Pervasiveness of Home Market Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 3454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," NBER Working Papers 9945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Baldwin, Richard & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2004. "Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Selection and Sorting," CEPR Discussion Papers 4602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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