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Competition and Offshoring


  • Jose Antonio Rodriguez-Lopez

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)


I present a model of offshoring decisions with heterogeneous firms, random adjustment costs, and endogenous markups. The model shows an inverted-U relationship between firm-level productivity and the probability of offshoring; hence, the most productive firms are less likely to offshore than some lower-productivity firms. A tougher competitive environment has two opposing effects on firm-level offshoring likelihood: a Schumpeterian effect--accounting for the negative effect of competition on offshoring profits--and an escape-competition effect--accounting for the effect of competition on the incremental profits from offshoring. A productivity level separates non-offshoring firms according to the dominant effect, with the Schumpeterian effect dominating for the least productive firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Antonio Rodriguez-Lopez, 2012. "Competition and Offshoring," Working Papers 111213, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:111213

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    3. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & Paul M. Romer & Stephen J. Terry & John Van Reenen, 2013. "A Trapped-Factors Model of Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 208-213, May.
    5. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    6. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
    8. David Berger, 2012. "Countercyclical Restructuring and Jobless Recoveries," 2012 Meeting Papers 1179, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    More about this item


    Competition; Offshoring; Heterogeneous firms; Endogenous markups; Adjustment costs;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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