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Firm Heterogeneity, Contract Enforcement, and the Industry Dynamics of Offshoring


  • Alireza Naghavi
  • Gianmarco Ottaviano


We develop an endogenous growth model with R&D spillovers to study the long-run consequences of offshoring with firm heterogeneity and incomplete contracts. In so doing, we model offshoring as the geographical fragmentation of a firm's production chain between a home upstream division and a foreign downstream division. While there is always a positive correlation between upstream bargaining weight and offshoring activities, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between these and growth. Whether offshoring with incomplete contracts also increases consumption depends on firm heterogeneity. As for welfare, whereas with complete contracts an R&D subsidy is enough to solve the inefficiency due to R&D spillovers, with incomplete contracts a production subsidy is also needed. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2009 .

Suggested Citation

  • Alireza Naghavi & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2009. "Firm Heterogeneity, Contract Enforcement, and the Industry Dynamics of Offshoring," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 629-653, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:111:y:2009:i:4:p:629-653

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Assche, Ari & Schwartz, Galina A., 2010. "Input specificity and global sourcing," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-85, March.
    2. Andreas Hoefele, 2013. "The Skill Content of Offshoring and Growth," Discussion Paper Series 2013_12, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Oct 2013.
    3. Colin Davis & Ken-ichi Hashimoto, 2016. "Innovation and Manufacturing Offshoring with Fully Endogenous Productivity Growth," Discussion Papers 1636, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth


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