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Measuring “Factoryless” Manufacturing: Evidence From U.S. Surveys


  • Fariha Kamal
  • Brent R. Moulton
  • Jennifer Ribarsky


“Factoryless” manufacturers, as defined by the U.S. OMB, perform underlying entrepreneurial components of arranging the factors of production but outsource all of the actual transformation activities to other specialized units. This paper describes efforts to measure “factoryless” manufacturing through analyzing data on contract manufacturing services (CMS). We explore two U.S. firm surveys that report data on CMS activities and discuss challenges with identifying and collecting data on entities that are part of global value chains.

Suggested Citation

  • Fariha Kamal & Brent R. Moulton & Jennifer Ribarsky, 2013. "Measuring “Factoryless” Manufacturing: Evidence From U.S. Surveys," Working Papers 13-44, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 513-552 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maurer, Andreas & Degain, Christophe, 2010. "Globalization and trade flows: What you see is not what you get!," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2010-12, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    3. repec:cen:wpaper:13-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Cited by:

    1. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2016. "Factoryless goods producers in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 9-15.
    2. repec:cen:wpaper:13-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kim J. Ruhl, 2015. "How Well Is US Intrafirm Trade Measured?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 524-529, May.

    More about this item


    contract manufacturing services; multinationals; fragmentation;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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