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The asymmetric effects of tariffs on intra-firm trade and offshoring decisions

Listed author(s):
  • Federico J. Díez

This paper studies the effects of tariffs on intra-firm trade. Building on the Antràs and Helpman (2004) North-South theoretical framework, I show that higher Northern tariffs reduce the incentives for outsourcing and offshoring, while higher Southern tariffs have the opposite effects. I also show that increased offshoring and outsourcing imply an increase in the ratio of Northern intra-firm imports to total imports, which is an empirically testable prediction. Using a highly disaggregated dataset of U.S. (the North) imports and relevant tariffs, I find robust evidence to support the model's predictions.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 10-4.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:10-4
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Swenson, Deborah L., 2005. "Overseas assembly and country sourcing choices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 107-130, May.
  2. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
  3. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intrafirm Trade and Product Contractibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 444-448, May.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  6. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2006. "Offshoring, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Structure of U.S. Trade," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 602-611, 04-05.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Intra-firm trade and product contractibility (Long Version)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48899, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. James Heckman & Salvador Navarro-Lozano, 2004. "Using Matching, Instrumental Variables, and Control Functions to Estimate Economic Choice Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 30-57, February.
  9. Nunn, Nathan & Trefler, Daniel, 2013. "Incomplete contracts and the boundaries of the multinational firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 330-344.
  10. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731.
  13. Emanuel Ornelas & John L. Turner, 2012. "Protection and International Sourcing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 26-63, 03.
  14. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
  15. Pol Antràs & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Offshoring and the Role of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3140-3183, December.
  16. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
  17. repec:hrv:faseco:33077829 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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.
  20. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
  21. Antrà s, Pol & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2014. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
  22. Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2008. "Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and the hold-up problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 225-241, January.
  23. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  24. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-Product Versus Within-Product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 647-678.
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