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Outsourcing versus FDI in oligopoly equilibrium

Author

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  • Leahy, Dermot
  • Montagna, Catia

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Leahy, Dermot & Montagna, Catia, 2008. "Outsourcing versus FDI in oligopoly equilibrium," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-39, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:52
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/52
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Outsourcing Versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 317-327, 04/05.
    2. Dermot Leahy, & Catia Montagna, "undated". "‘Make-or-Buy' in International Oligopoly and the Role of Competitive Pressure," Discussion Papers 07/05, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    3. 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.
    4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
    5. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-245, May.
    6. Bartel, Ann P & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. 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.
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    11. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2003. "Strategic outsourcing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 203-224, February.
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    13. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
    14. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
    15. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Outsourcing; Foreign Direct Investment; Trade Liberalisation; Oligopoly;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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