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Factor Price Frontiers with International Fragmentation of Multistage Production

I develop a generalized factor price frontier which incorporates endogenous adjustment of international fragmentation in multistage production, allowing for a continuum of stages. This allows us to address fragmentation, not only as an exogenous event, but also as an integral part of endogenous adjustment to a variety of changes not directly related to fragmentation. A two-dimensional general equilibrium analysis explores how the margin of fragmentation, as well as factor prices, respond to a change in the final output price, and to an improvement in the "technology of fragmentation". A key distinction arises between the "average" and "marginal" labour intensity, respectively, of domestic production in the multistage industry. The paper identifies conditions under which outsourcing to a low-wage country is a "friend" or an "enemy" to domestic labour, as well as conditions under which the Jonesian magnification e.ects underlying the Stolper-Samuelson theorem are reinforced, or mitigated, by endogenous changes in the margin of fragmentation. Protection may result in a broader or a narrower range of stages produced domestically.

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File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2003/wp0305.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2003-05.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2003_05
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  2. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Department of Economics 95-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K & Grossman, Gene M, 1982. "Trade and Protection with Multistage Production," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 583-94, October.
  4. Deardorff, A.V., 1998. "Fragmentation in Simple Trade Models," Papers 98-11, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  5. Richard G. Harris, 1995. "Trade and Communication Costs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(s1), pages 46-75, November.
  6. Francesca Fabbri & Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Does Nationality Of Ownership Matter For Labor Demands?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 698-707, 04/05.
  7. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  8. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 8728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Deardorff, A.V., 1998. "Fragmentation Across Cones," Papers 98-14, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  11. Arndt, Sven W., 1997. "Globalization and the open economy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 71-79.
  12. Irwin, Douglas A, 1996. "The United States in a New Global Economy? A Century's Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 41-46, May.
  13. Wilhelm Kohler, 2003. "The Distributional Effects of International Fragmentation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(1), pages 89-120, February.
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