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Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms

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  • Andrei Zlate

Abstract

Cross-country variation in production costs encourages the relocation of production facilities to other countries, a process known as offshoring through vertical foreign direct investment. I examine the effect of offshoring on the international transmission of business cycles. Unlike the existing macroeconomic literature, I distinguish between fluctuations in the number of offshoring firms (the extensive margin) and in the value added per offshoring firm (the intensive margin) as separate transmission mechanisms. The firms' decision to produce offshore depends on the firm-specific level of labor productivity, on fluctuations in the relative cost of effective labor, and on the fixed and trade costs of offshoring. The model replicates the procyclical pattern of offshoring and the dynamics along its two margins, which I document using data from U.S. manufacturing and Mexico's maquiladora sectors. Offshoring enhances the synchronization of business cycles, and dampens the real exchange rate appreciation generated by aggregate productivity differentials across countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 995.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:995

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Keywords: Business cycles;

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References

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  1. Silvio Contessi, 2010. "How does multinational production change international comovement?," Working Papers 2010-041, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
  7. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 599, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336, 02.
  9. Ananth Ramanarayanan & Costas Arkolakis, 2009. "Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization," 2009 Meeting Papers 780, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Daniel Farhat, 2009. "Endogenous Labor Supply, Heterogeneous Firms and International Business Cycles," Working Papers 0909, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2009.
  13. Pedro Silos, 2005. "Housing, portfolio choice, and the macroeconomy," Working Paper 2005-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  14. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Emerging market business cycles: the cycle is the trend," Working Papers 04-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  15. Natalia Ramondo & Andr�s Rodr�guez-Clare, 2013. "Trade, Multinational Production, and the Gains from Openness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 273 - 322.
  16. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 664-678, November.
  17. Sylvain Leduc & David Arseneau, 2012. "Threatening to Offshore in a Search Model of the Labor Market," 2012 Meeting Papers 943, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kleinert, Jörn & Martin, Julien & Toubal, Farid, 2012. "The Few Leading The Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," CEPR Discussion Papers 9129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Roberto A. Coronado, 2011. "Offshoring and volatility: more evidence from Mexico's maquiladora industry," Working Papers 1106, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Auray, Stéphane & Eyquem, Aurélien & Poutineau, Jean-Christophe, 2012. "The effect of a common currency on the volatility of the extensive margin of trade," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1156-1179.
  4. Christopher Kurz & Mine Z. Senses, 2013. "Importing, Exporting And Firm-Level Employment Volatility," Working Papers 13-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Mandelman, Federico S., 2013. "Labor market polarization and international macroeconomic dynamics," Working Paper 2013-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Andrei Zlate & Federico Mandelman, 2013. "Offshoring, Low-skilled Immigration and Labor Market Polarization," 2013 Meeting Papers 1073, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Cacciatore, Matteo, 2014. "International trade and macroeconomic dynamics with labor market frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 17-30.
  8. Christopher Kurz & Mine Z. Senses, 2013. "Importing, exporting and firm-level employment volatility," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Pundit,Madhavi, 2013. "Comovement in business cycles and trade in intermediate goods," Working Papers 13/116, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

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