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Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level

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  • José C. Fariñas
  • Ana Martín-Marcos

Abstract

Abstract The objective of this paper is to explore the relationship between foreign sourcing and productivity at the firm level. To organise the empirical work, we rely on Antràs and Helpman's model (2004), which predicts that high-productivity firms engage in trade (foreign sourcing) and low-productivity firms do not source abroad. The paper performs productivity comparisons between groups of firms sourcing abroad and firms which do not source abroad, applying non-parametric procedures to a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms. Our results indicate the existence of large and significant differences in productivity between firms that source abroad and those that do not. The productivity premium of foreign sourcing firms is robust to other characteristics that are associated with firm productivity. Furthermore, the evidence reported is consistent with self-selection of the most productive firms into the practice of sourcing abroad. The ex ante productivity distribution of firms that engage in foreign sourcing stochastically dominates the distribution of firms which do not source abroad. Finally, our estimates suggest that changing the intensity of foreign sourcing is a technology shifter for firms, and this has a direct impact on their total factor productivity. Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • José C. Fariñas & Ana Martín-Marcos, 2010. "Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 482-506, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:33:y:2010:i:3:p:482-506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2016. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing and Services Firms," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 87-117, February.
    2. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 123-139.
    3. Sasan Bakhtiari, 2011. "Size Evolution and Outsourcing: Theory and Evidence from Australian Manufacturing," Discussion Papers 2012-08, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    4. Lourdes Moreno & Diego Rodríguez, 2011. "Markups, Bargaining Power and Offshoring: An Empirical Assessment-super-1," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(9), pages 1593-1627, September.
    5. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier & Jens Wrona, 2017. "Offshoring Domestic Jobs," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 2, pages 27-70 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Kohler, Wilhelm & Smolka, Marcel, 2014. "Global sourcing and firm selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 411-415.
    7. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Firms," wiiw Working Papers 105, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    8. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Offshoring and firm performance: self-selection, effects on performance, or both?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(2), pages 217-247, June.
    9. Minjung Kim, 2015. "Productivity spillovers from FDI and the role of domestic firm’s absorptive capacity in South Korean manufacturing industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 807-827, March.
    10. Golikova Victoria & Kuznetsov Boris, 2015. "Perception of Risks Associated with Economic Sanctions: The Case of Russian Manufacturing," HSE Working papers WP BRP 115/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    11. Sasan Bakhtiari, 2015. "Productivity, outsourcing and exit: the case of Australian manufacturing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 425-447, February.
    12. Schwörer, Tillmann, 2012. "Offshoring, domestic outsourcing, and productivity: Evidence for a number of European countries," Kiel Working Papers 1786, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. David Aristei & Davide Castellani & Chiara Franco, 2013. "Firms’ exporting and importing activities: is there a two-way relationship?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(1), pages 55-84, March.
    14. Valle, Sandra & García, Francisco & Avella, Lucía, 2015. "Offshoring Intermediate Manufacturing: Boost or Hindrance to Firm Innovation?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 117-134.
    15. Kohler, Wilhelm & Smolka, Marcel, 2013. "Global Sourcing: Towards an Empirical Test of the Hold-up Model," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80049, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Martin Borowiecki & Bernhard Dachs & Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Steffen Kinkel & Johannes Pöschl & Magdolna Sass & Thomas Christian Schmall & Robert Stehrer & Andrea Szalavetz, 2012. "Global Value Chains and the EU Industry," wiiw Research Reports 383, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    17. Sasan Bakhtiari, 2011. "Efficiency and Outsourcing: Evidence from Australian Manufacturing," Discussion Papers 2012-07, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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