The global assembly-operations of US semiconductor firms: a geographical analysis
The paper begins with a brief description of assembly processes in the semiconductor industry. The organizational structure and geography of the assembly operations of US semiconductor firms are then considered. Two issues in particular are examined, namely (a) the conditions under which vertical integration and disintegration of assembly tend to occur, and (b) the reasons why most semiconductor assembly is performed offshore. Lengthy empirical descriptions are offered of the assembly activities of US semiconductor firms in (a) the United States, (b) Western Europe, and (c) the world periphery and semiperiphery (above all, East and Southeast Asia). The paper concludes with a short critical comment on the theory of the new international division of labor.
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