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Trade Liberalization, Outsourcing, and Firm Productivity

  • Ralph Ossa
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    Empirical evidence suggests that trade liberalization increases firm productivity. This paper offers a novel explanation for this finding. I develop a simple general equilibrium model of trade in which trade liberalization leads to outsourcing as firms focus on their core competencies in response to tougher competition. Since firms are the better at performing tasks the closer they are to their core competencies, this outsourcing increases firm productivity. Moreover, I also investigate the links between various technological parameters and outsourcing. In particular, I analyze how technological progress, changes in fixed costs, and changes in internal governance costs affect firms' integration decisions.

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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0814.pdf
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    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0814.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0814
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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    1. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
    3. Petia Topalova & Amit Khandelwal, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1009, August.
    4. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The long and short of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6721, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Pavcnik, Nina, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvement: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 245-76, January.
    6. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-product firms and trade liberalization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3684, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," NBER Working Papers 12322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Redding, Stephen & Burgess, Robin & Aghion, Philippe, 2005. "Entry Liberalization and Inequality in Industrial Performance," Scholarly Articles 4481508, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    14. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
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