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Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms

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  • Andrei Zlate

Abstract

Cross-country variation in production costs encourages the relocation of production facilities to other countries, a process known as offshoring through vertical foreign direct investment. I examine the effect of offshoring on the international transmission of business cycles. Unlike the existing macroeconomic literature, I distinguish between fluctuations in the number of offshoring firms (the extensive margin) and in the value added per offshoring firm (the intensive margin) as separate transmission mechanisms. The firms' decision to produce offshore depends on the firm-specific level of labor productivity, on fluctuations in the relative cost of effective labor, and on the fixed and trade costs of offshoring. The model replicates the procyclical pattern of offshoring and the dynamics along its two margins, which I document using data from U.S. manufacturing and Mexico's maquiladora sectors. Offshoring enhances the synchronization of business cycles, and dampens the real exchange rate appreciation generated by aggregate productivity differentials across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrei Zlate, 2010. "Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms," International Finance Discussion Papers 995, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:995
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrei Zlate & Federico Mandelman, 2013. "Offshoring, Low-skilled Immigration and Labor Market Polarization," 2013 Meeting Papers 1073, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Jörn Kleinert & Julien Martin & Farid Toubal, 2015. "The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 134-159, October.
    3. Sauré, Philip, 2017. "Time-intensive R&D and unbalanced trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 229-244.
    4. Mandelman, Federico S., 2016. "Labor market polarization and international macroeconomic dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 1-16.
    5. Kurz, Christopher & Senses, Mine Z., 2016. "Importing, exporting, and firm-level employment volatility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 160-175.
    6. Cacciatore, Matteo, 2014. "International trade and macroeconomic dynamics with labor market frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 17-30.
    7. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2017. "Multinational Firms and International Business Cycle Transmission," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 921-962.
    8. Mine Senses & Andrei Zlate & Christopher Kurz, 2017. "All Shook Up: International Trade and Firm-level Volatility," 2017 Meeting Papers 851, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Roberto Coronado, 2011. "Offshoring and volatility: more evidence from Mexico's maquiladora industry," Working Papers 1106, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    10. Contessi, Silvio, 2015. "Multinational firms׳ entry and productivity: Some aggregate implications of firm-level heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 61-80.
    11. Auray, Stéphane & Eyquem, Aurélien & Poutineau, Jean-Christophe, 2012. "The effect of a common currency on the volatility of the extensive margin of trade," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1156-1179.
    12. Pundit,Madhavi, 2013. "Comovement in business cycles and trade in intermediate goods," Working Papers 13/116, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    13. Gu, Grace Weishi, 2015. "A Tale of Two Countries: Sovereign Default, Exchange Rate, and Trade," MPRA Paper 61900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Wong, Chin-Yoong & Eng, Yoke-Kee, 2013. "International business cycle co-movement and vertical specialization reconsidered in multistage Bayesian DSGE model," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 109-124.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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