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Offshoring and Volatility of Demand

Author

Listed:
  • Sebastian Benz
  • Wilhelm Kohler
  • Erdal Yalcin

Abstract

In this paper we explore the role that demand uncertainty plays for the offshoring decision, and the role that offshoring plays for domestic volatility of employment. Offshoring is modeled as in Antràs & Helpman (2004), but we assume complete contracts. Firms are heterogeneous as in Melitz (2003). Uncertainty arises through recurring firm-specific shocks to demand. The presence of a cost of firing or hiring as in Bagliano & Bertola (2004) generates an intertemporal element to a firm’s employment decision in its domestic and offshore production. In this environment, offshoring is driven by differential labor market exibility as well as by wage differences. Our most important results are: 1) If the foreign labor market features a high exibility, measured relative to its wage rate, compared to the domestic labor market, then higher uncertainty has a pro-offshoring effect. And 2), under this same condition, offshoring increases volatility in domestic employment of offshoring firms and the volatility of offshore employment of these same firms is larger than volatility of domestic employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Benz & Wilhelm Kohler & Erdal Yalcin, 2016. "Offshoring and Volatility of Demand," CESifo Working Paper Series 5970, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5970
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5970.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2017. "Offshoring and Volatility: Evidence from Mexico’s Maquiladora Industry," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Macroeconomic Interdependence, chapter 2, pages 31-44, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Roza, Marja & Van den Bosch, Frans A.J. & Volberda, Henk W., 2011. "Offshoring strategy: Motives, functions, locations, and governance modes of small, medium-sized and large firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 314-323, June.
    3. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, And The Pattern Of Comparative Advantage," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 225-254, April.
    4. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    5. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2010. "A Many-Country, Many-Good Model of Labor Market Rigidities as a Source of Comparative Advantage," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 434-441, 04-05.
    6. Anderson, James E., 2011. "The specific factors continuum model, with implications for globalization and income risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 174-185.
    7. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
    8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    9. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    10. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    11. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    12. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2017. "Volatility Due to Offshoring: Theory and Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Macroeconomic Interdependence, chapter 3, pages 45-77, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Horst Raff & Nicolas Schmitt & Frank Stähler, 2018. "How Importers May Hedge Demand Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp18-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    2. Wilhelm Kohler & Bohdan Kukharskyy, 2018. "Offshoring under Uncertainty," CESifo Working Paper Series 7173, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    offshoring; volatility; labor market flexibility;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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