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Outsourcing versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium?

  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

We study the determinants of the extent of outsourcing and of direct foreign investment in an industry in which producers need specialized components. Potential suppliers must make a relationship-specific investment in order to serve each prospective customer. Such investments are governed by imperfect contracts. A final-good producer can manufacture components for itself, but the per-unit cost is higher than for specialized suppliers. We consider how the size of the cost differential, the extent of contractual incompleteness, the size of the industry, and the relative wage rate affect the organization of industry production.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1965.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1965
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  1. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1966, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  6. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Power Inside the Firm and the Market: a General Equilibrium Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 3526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  9. Ronald W. Jones, 2000. "Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026210086x, June.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
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