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Foreign versus domestic outsourcing: Firm-level evidence on the role of technology

  • Tomiura, Eiichi

The decision about where to outsource varies across firms and industries. General machinery heavily depends on domestic subcontractors, while outsourcing overseas is prevalent in apparel. Based on firm-level data explicitly distinguishing foreign outsourcing from domestic outsourcing in all manufacturing industries, this paper finds that firms tend to prefer domestic outsourcing to foreign outsourcing when they are R&D-intensive. This finding is consistent with incomplete contracting models, since technologically complex products are likely to require high-quality contracting environment and assembler-supplier proximity. This paper also finds that firms connected with computer networks are actively outsourcing.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1059-0560(08)00065-8
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Economics & Finance.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 219-226

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Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:219-226
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620165

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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Contractual Frictions and Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Technology: Theory and Evidence," IEW - Working Papers 342, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
  8. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
  9. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
  10. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," NBER Working Papers 9945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra & Barbara J. Spencer, 2005. "Contractual Versus Generic Outsourcing: The Role of Proximity," NBER Working Papers 11885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2005. "Partial outsourcing, monitoring cost, and market structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1173-1190, November.
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