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Foreign Outsourcing, Exporting, and FDI: A Productivity Comparison at the Firm Level

  • Eiichi Tomiura

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

This paper compares the productivity of firms active in foreign outsourcing, exporting, foreign direct investment, or only in domestic operations by a firm-level data of more than 118 thousand Japanese manufacturers. Only a small fraction of firms outsource, export, or invest across borders. The group averages, inter-firm distributions, regressions controlling for industry-effects, and multinomial response models unanimously demonstrate that FDI firms are distinctively more productive than foreign outsourcing firms, which are equally productive as exporters and are clearly more productive than domestic firms. Productive, innovative, or computerized firms are likely to globalize. The firms outsourcing overseas are particularly labor-intensive.

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File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/dp168.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 168.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:168
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  1. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
  3. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Managerial incentives and the international organization of production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 237-262, July.
  4. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
  6. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew Bernard & Peter Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," Working Papers 05-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Eiichi Tomiura, 2004. "Foreign outsourcing and firm-level characteristics: evidence from Japanese manufacturers," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-64, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  12. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
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