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Trade Liberalization, Offshoring and Firm Heterogeneity

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  • Vincent Rebeyrol

Abstract

This paper analyses the impact of trade liberalization in a model where heterogeneous firms can freely offshore their production. Firms choose whether to produce, and if so whether to sell on the domestic market only or on the export market as well. Simultaneously, they also choose where to locate their production. The paper shows that the interaction between heterogeneity in firm productivity and the possibility of offshoring production dramatically alters the impact of trade liberalization. Three main results emerge from this interaction: i) Intra-industry factor reallocation towards the most productive firms, which is induced by trade liberalization, operates at the world level, but not necessarily at the country level and thus trade liberalization can lead to average productivity losses in some countries; ii) Trade liberalization may reverse country specialization independently of any country size effect; iii) The relation between trade liberalization and trade growth is non-linear, even in the absence of trade in intermediate goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Rebeyrol, 2009. "Trade Liberalization, Offshoring and Firm Heterogeneity," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/26, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/26
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    4. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2002. "On the Pervasiveness of Home Market Effects," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 371-390, August.
    5. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    6. Pol Antràs, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1054-1073.
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
    8. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151-1199.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    12. Baldwin, Richard & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2004. "Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Selection and Sorting," CEPR Discussion Papers 4602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade Liberalization; Offshoring; Firm Heterogeneity; Trade Patterns; Average Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General

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