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Outsourcing and Volatility

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  • Paul Bergin
  • Robert Feenstra

Abstract

While outsourcing of production from the U.S. to Mexico has been hailed in Mexico as a valuable engine of growth, recently there have been misgivings regarding the fickleness and volatility of this engine. This paper is the first in the literature to focus on the second moment properties of outsourcing. We begin by documenting a new stylized fact: the maquiladora outsourcing industries in Mexico experience fluctuations in value added that are roughly twice as volatile as the corresponding industries in the U.S. A difference-in-difference method adapted to second moments is used to verify that this finding is specific to the outsourcing sector and is statistically significant. We then develop two theoretical models of outsourcing that can explain this stylized fact. Both models rely on a continuum of products and many varieties of each product. In the first model, firms can enter into outsourcing relationships via new products and new product varieties, with CES preferences. In the second model, firms enter into outsourcing only via new product varieties, and the degree of entry is modulated by a novel mechanism of endogenous markups obtained from translog preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Bergin & Robert Feenstra, 2006. "Outsourcing and Volatility," Working Papers 628, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:06-28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, March.
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    4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    5. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
    6. Burstein, Ariel & Kurz, Christopher & Tesar, Linda, 2008. "Trade, production sharing, and the international transmission of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 775-795, May.
    7. M. Ayhan Kose & Kei-Mu Yi, 2001. "International Trade and Business Cycles: Is Vertical Specialization the Missing Link?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 371-375, May.
    8. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zlate, Andrei, 2016. "Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 34-49.
    2. Burstein, Ariel & Kurz, Christopher & Tesar, Linda, 2008. "Trade, production sharing, and the international transmission of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 775-795, May.
    3. Tamim Bayoumi & Andrew J Swiston, 2008. "Spillovers Across NAFTA," IMF Working Papers 08/3, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Costas Arkolakis & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2009. "Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 655-680, December.
    5. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2009. "Globalization, Macroeconomic Performance, and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(s1), pages 187-196, February.
    6. Buch, Claudia M. & Lipponer, Alexander, 2010. "Volatile multinationals? Evidence from the labor demand of German firms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 345-353, April.
    7. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra, 2009. "Pass-Through of Exchange Rates and Competition between Floaters and Fixers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(s1), pages 35-70, February.
    8. Marta Arespa, 2015. "Macroeconomic Volatility And International Integration," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 393-410, October.
    9. Arti, 2007. "The Role of Technological Complexity and Absorptive Capacity in Internalization Decision," Working papers 153, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    10. Maroula Khraiche, 2009. "Trade, Firm Structure, and Migration of Talent," Working papers 2009-35, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    11. Roberto Coronado, 2011. "Offshoring and volatility: more evidence from Mexico's maquiladora industry," Working Papers 1106, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    12. Döhrn, Roland & Kitlinski, Tobias & Schmidt, Torsten & Vosen, Simeon, 2010. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Ausland: Belasteter Aufschwung," RWI Konjunkturberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 61(1), pages 5-35.
    13. Giunta, Anna & Nifo, Annamaria & Scalera, Domenico, 2009. "Subcontracting in the Italian industry. Labour Division, Firms’ Growth and North-South Divide," MPRA Paper 13084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Claudia M. Buch, 2008. "The Great Risk Shift? Income Volatility in an International Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2465, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Silvio Contessi, 2010. "How does multinational production change international comovement?," Working Papers 2010-041, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    16. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2008. "Much Ado About Nothing: American Jobs and the Rise of Service Outsourcing to China and India," NBER Working Papers 14061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Peters Heiko & Weigert Benjamin, 2013. "Beschäftigungsentwicklung innerhalb deutscher multinationaler Unternehmen während der globalen Rezession 2008/2009 / Employment Changes Within German Multinational Companies During the Global Recessio," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(4), pages 505-525, August.
    18. Moon, Yongma & Yao, Tao & Jiang, Bin, 2011. "Outsourcing versus joint venture from vendor's perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 23-31, January.
    19. Anna Giunta & Domenico Scalera & Annamaria Nifo, 2008. "Divisione del lavoro, crescita e divari di performance nell'industria italiana degli anni '90," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0097, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    20. repec:eee:energy:v:125:y:2017:i:c:p:55-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Roland Döhrn & Tobias Kitlinski & Torsten Schmidt & Simeon Vosen, 2010. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Ausland zur Jahreswende 2009/2010 - Belasteter Aufschwung," RWI Konjunkturbericht, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 31, 03.
    22. Khraiche, Maroula, 2014. "Trade, capital adjustment and the migration of talent," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 24-40.
    23. Adamcik, Santiago, 2008. "Efectos de la Globalizacion sobre la Inflacion y la politica Monetaria Domestica
      [Globalization Effect on both Inflation and Domestic Monetary Policy]
      ," MPRA Paper 9242, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    oursourcing;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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