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Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level

  • Tomiura, Eiichi

This paper compares the productivity of firms active in foreign outsourcing, exporting, foreign direct investment, or only in domestic operations by a firm-level data of more than 118 thousand Japanese manufacturers. Only a small fraction of firms outsource, export, or invest across borders. The group averages, inter-firm distributions, regressions controlling for industry-effects, and multinomial response models unanimously demonstrate that FDI firms are distinctively more productive than foreign outsourcing firms, which are equally productive as exporters and are clearly more productive than domestic firms. Productive, innovative, or computerized firms are likely to globalize. The firms outsourcing overseas are particularly labor-intensive.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 72 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 113-127

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:72:y:2007:i:1:p:113-127
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  1. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2005. "Foreign outsourcing and firm-level characteristics: Evidence from Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-271, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Working Papers 11404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  6. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
  9. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Gene M. Grossman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
  12. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  13. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
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