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Offshoring along the production chain

  • Philipp Harms
  • Oliver Lorz
  • Dieter Urban

In this paper, we analyze the offshoring decision of firms whose production process is characterized by a particular sequence of steps. International cost differences vary non-monotonically along the production chain, and moving unfinished goods across borders incurs transport costs. We show that, in such a setting, firms may refrain from offshoring even if relocating individual steps would be advantageous in terms of offshoring costs, or they may offshore (almost) the entire production chain to save transport costs. Small variations in model parameters may thus have a substantial impact on offshoring activities.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 93-106

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:1:p:93-106
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter, 2007. "Outsourcing and trade in a spatial world," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 441-470, November.
  3. Geishecker, Ingo & Görg, Holger, 2007. "Winners and losers: A Micro-level Analysis of International Outsourcing and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 6484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Fragmentation and multinational production," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 935-945, April.
  5. Arndt, Sven W., 1997. "Globalization and the open economy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 71-79.
  6. Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "International outsourcing and factor prices with multistage production," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C166-C185, 03.
  7. Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2008. "Offshoring of routine tasks and (de)industrialisation: Threat or opportunity--And for whom?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 517-535, March.
  8. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
  9. Ronald W. Jones, 2000. "Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026210086x, June.
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