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Can deunionization lead to international outsourcing?

We analyze unionized firms’ incentives to outsource intermediate goods production to foreign (low-cost) subcontractors. Such outsourcing leads to increased wages for the remaining in-house production. We find that stronger unions, which implies higher domestic wages, reduce incentives for international outsourcing. Though somewhat surprising, this results provides a theoretical reconciliation of the empirically observed trends of deunionization and increased international outsourcing in many countries. We further show that globalization — interpreted as either market integration or increased product market competition — will increase incentives for international outsourcing.

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Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 15/05.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 05 Jun 2005
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2005_015
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway

Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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  40. Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2005. "Partial outsourcing, monitoring cost, and market structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1173-1190, November.
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