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A New Push on An Old Fundamental: Understanding the Patterns of Outsourcing

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Abstract

For what kind of intermediate input/service do firms often go outsourcing? This paper develops a model of two-stage production in which economies of scope are central to the production of both the intermediate and final good. The model is able to explain the patterns of outsourcing from the degree of product differentiation, economies of scope, and economies of scale in production of the intermediate input relative to that of the final good. The recent surge of outsourcing activities is explained by a new push (progress in the general purpose technology, e.g., information technology) on an old fundamental (economies of scope in production).

Suggested Citation

  • Zhihao Yu, 2003. "A New Push on An Old Fundamental: Understanding the Patterns of Outsourcing," Carleton Economic Papers 03-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:03-08
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    3. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
    4. Ronald W. Jones, 2000. "Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026210086x, January.
    5. Zhao, Laixun, 2001. "Unionization, vertical markets, and the outsourcing of multinationals," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 187-202, October.
    6. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    7. Chen, Yongmin & Ishikawa, Jota & Yu, Zhihao, 2004. "Trade liberalization and strategic outsourcing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 419-436, July.
    8. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    9. Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Localization Economies, Vertical Organization, and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1266-1278, December.
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    Keywords

    Outsourcing; Economies of Scope; Vertical Disintegration; Vertical and horizontal Specialisation;

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