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A Portrait of U.S. Factoryless Goods Producers

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  • Fariha Kamal

Abstract

This paper evaluates the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent data collection efforts to classify business entities that engage in an extreme form of production fragmentation called “factoryless” goods production. “Factoryless” goods-producing entities outsource physical transformation activities while retaining ownership of the intellectual property and control of sales to customers. Responses to a special inquiry on the incidence of purchases of contract manufacturing services in combination with data on production inputs and outputs, intellectual property, and international trade is used to identify and document characteristics of “factoryless” firms in the U.S. economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Fariha Kamal, 2018. "A Portrait of U.S. Factoryless Goods Producers," Working Papers 18-43, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:18-43
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2018/CES-WP-18-43.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 47-72, Spring.
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    3. Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "China's Growing Role in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen07-1, September.
    4. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Katz, Lawrence F. & Patterson, Christina & Van Reenen, John, 2017. "The fall of the Labor share and the rise of superstar firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83616, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Mion, Giordano & Zhu, Linke, 2013. "Import competition from and offshoring to China: A curse or blessing for firms?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 202-215.
    6. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
    7. Feenstra, Robert C. & Wei, Shang-Jin (ed.), 2010. "China's Growing Role in World Trade," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226239712, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2016. "The Surprisingly Swift Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1632-1662, July.
    10. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
    11. Teresa C. Fort, 2017. "Technology and Production Fragmentation: Domestic versus Foreign Sourcing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 650-687.
    12. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
    13. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    contract manufacturing services; “factoryless” production; imports; multinationals; intellectual property;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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