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Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and firm productivity

Listed author(s):
  • 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://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19698/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19698.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2007
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19698
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    LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.

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    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    2. 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.
    3. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
    4. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    5. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2005. "Market size and tax competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 25-46, September.
    7. Philippe Aghion & Robin Burgess & Stephen Redding & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Entry Liberalization and Inequality in Industrial Performance," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 291-302, 04/05.
    8. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Trade Liberalization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1271-1318.
    9. 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.
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