On the Relationship between International Outsourcing and Price--Cost Margins in European Industries
This paper sets up a model, where multinationals compete in quantities and domestic firms form a competitive fringe. Within this framework, we analyse the relationship between market concentration, international outsourcing and the industry price-cost margin. The empirical results of a panel of 66 industries and the EU12 countries in the 1990s strongly confirm our theoretical hypotheses. Market concentration and international outsourcing are positively related to industry price--cost margins. In a thought experiment, we show that industry price--cost margins would have decreased by 0.4 percentage points more in the 1990s, if international outsourcing had not changed since 1990. In addition, international outsourcing accounts for a convergence in margins across industries in the last decade.
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