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Can Deunionization Lead to International Outsourcing?

Author

Listed:
  • Kjell Erik Lommerud
  • Frode Meland
  • Odd Rune Straume

Abstract

We analyze unionized firms’ incentives to outsource intermediate goods production to foreign (low-cost) subcontractors. Such outsourcing leads to increased wages for the remaining in-house production. We find that stronger unions, which imply higher domestic wages, reduce incentives for international outsourcing. Though somewhat surprising, this result provides a theoretical reconciliation of the empirically observed trends of deunionization and increased international outsourcing in many countries. We further show that globalization - interpreted as either market integration or increased product market competition - will increase incentives for international outsourcing.

Suggested Citation

  • Kjell Erik Lommerud & Frode Meland & Odd Rune Straume, 2005. "Can Deunionization Lead to International Outsourcing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1545, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1545
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international outsourcing; deunionization; globalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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