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Outsourcing Versus Fdi In Oligopoly Equilibrium

  • Dermot Leahy
  • Catia Montagna

We consider the make-or-buy decision of oligopolistic firms in an industry in which final good production requires specialised inputs. Factor price considerations dictate that firms acquire the intermediate abroad, by either producing it in a wholly owned subsidiary or outsourcing it to a supplier who must make a relationship specific investment. Firms’ internationalisation mode depends on cost and strategic considerations. Crucially, asymmetric equilibria emerge, with firms choosing different modes of internationalisation, even when they are ex-ante identical. With ex-ante asymmetries, lower cost producers have a stronger incentive to vertically integrate (FDI), while higher cost firms are more likely to outsource.

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Paper provided by Economic Studies, University of Dundee in its series Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics with number 215.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:215
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  1. Bartel, Ann P & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Dermot Leahy, & Catia Montagna, . "‘Make-or-Buy' in International Oligopoly and the Role of Competitive Pressure," Discussion Papers 07/05, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  3. Nickerson, Jack A. & Vanden Bergh, Richard, 1999. "Economizing in a context of strategizing: governance mode choice in Cournot competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-15, September.
  4. Barbara J. Spencer, 2005. "International Outsourcing and Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 11418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
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