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Bi-sourcing in the global economy

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  • Du, Julan
  • Lu, Yi
  • Tao, Zhigang

Abstract

In organizing production, many firms conduct bi-sourcing, i.e., acquiring the same set of inputs both by buying from external suppliers (outsourcing) and carrying out in-house production (insourcing). We show that, by adopting the bi-sourcing strategy, firms can use the payoff from one supplier as a backup option in negotiating with the other supplier (the cross-threat effect). When firms conduct bi-sourcing in the global economy consisting of the high-waged North and low-waged South, they need to make the location choice for both insourcing and outsourcing. We find that the low wage in the South can encourage investment by component suppliers (the cost effect). However, firms may achieve a better cross-threat effect by relocating overly strong component supplier from the cost-advantageous South to the cost-disadvantageous North (the balancing effect). The optimal bi-sourcing strategy is determined by the interplay of the cost effect and the balancing effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Bi-sourcing in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 215-222, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:77:y:2009:i:2:p:215-222
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    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:90-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Escaith, Hubert & Lindenberg, Nannette & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2010. "International supply chains and trade elasticity in times of global crisis," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2010-08, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    3. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 123-139.
    4. Chen, Xiaoping & Lu, Yi & Zhu, Lianming, 2017. "Product cycle, contractibility, and global sourcing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 283-296.
    5. Stenbacka, Rune & Tombak, Mihkel, 2012. "Make and buy: Balancing bargaining power," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 391-402.
    6. Cho, Janghee & Chun, Hyunbae & Hur, Jung, 2014. "Choosing multiple offshoring strategies: Determinants and complementarity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 42-57.
    7. Kohler Wilhelm K & Smolka Marcel, 2011. "Sourcing Premia with Incomplete Contracts: Theory and Evidence," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-39, February.
    8. Beladi, Hamid & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2012. "Market structure and strategic bi-sourcing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 210-219.
    9. Verena Nowak & Christian Schwarz & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "On the Organizational Structure of Multinational Firms - Which Sourcing Mode for which Input?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3823, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Nowak, Verena, 2014. "Organizational Decisions in Multistage Production Processes," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100613, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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