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Global Sourcing, Technology, and Factor Intensity: Firm-level Relationships


  • TOMIURA Eiichi


This paper empirically examines how technology and capital intensity are related with the firm's global sourcing decision. Firm-level data are derived from a survey covering all manufacturing industries in Japan without any firm-size threshold. Firms are disaggregated by their make-or-buy decision (in-house or outsourcing) and by their choice of sourcing location (offshore or domestic). Capital-intensive or R&D-intensive firms tend to source in-house from their FDI affiliates rather than outsourcing to independent suppliers. This paper also confirms that high productivity is related with offshore sourcing. These findings are basically robust even after industry and firm-size are controlled for.

Suggested Citation

  • TOMIURA Eiichi, 2007. "Global Sourcing, Technology, and Factor Intensity: Firm-level Relationships," Discussion papers 07024, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:07024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Assessing the Property Rights and Transaction-Cost Theories of Firm Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 184-188, May.
    2. Kirk Monteverde & David J. Teece, 1982. "Supplier Switching Costs and Vertical Integration in the Automobile Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 206-213, Spring.
    3. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Managerial incentives and the international organization of production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 237-262, July.
    4. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    6. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    8. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Offshore production and skill upgrading by Japanese manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 81-105, October.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2005. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: Finance, Contracts, and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Contractual Frictions and Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 12747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Valeria Gattai & Valentina Trovato, 2014. "Estimating sourcing premia with Italian regional data," Working Papers 276, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
    2. Valeria Gattai & Giorgia Sali, 2016. "FDI and heterogeneous performance of European enterprises," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(1), pages 25-65, March.
    3. Gattai Valeria & Trovato Valentina, 2016. "Estimating Sourcing Premia Using Italian Regional Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1029-1067, April.

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