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Outsourcing in a Global Economy

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  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We study the determinants of the location of sub-contracted activity in a general equilibrium model of outsourcing and trade. We model outsourcing as an activity that requires search for a partner and relationship-specific investments that are governed by incomplete contracts. The extent of international outsourcing depends inter alia on the thickness of the domestic and foreign market for input suppliers, the relative cost of searching in each market, the relative cost of customizing inputs, and the nature of the contracting environment in each country.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8728.

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Date of creation: Jan 2002
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Publication status: published as Grossman, Gene M. and Elhanan Helpman. "Outsourcing In A Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, 2005, v72(250,Jan), 135-159.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8728

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  1. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  2. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  3. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
  4. McLaren, J., 1996. "'Globalization' and Vertical Structure," Discussion Papers, Columbia University, Department of Economics 1996_21, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  6. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  7. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2000. "Information and Globalization: Wage Co-Movements, Labor Demand Elasticity, and Conventional Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 7671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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