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Outsourcing and Volatility

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  • Paul R. Bergin
  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Gordon H. Hanson

Abstract

While outsourcing of production from the U.S. to Mexico has been hailed in Mexico as a valuable engine of growth, recently there have been misgivings regarding its fickleness and volatility. This paper is among the first in the trade literature to study the second moment properties of outsourcing. We begin by documenting a new stylized fact: the maquiladora outsourcing industries in Mexico experience fluctuations in value added that are roughly twice as volatile as the corresponding industries in the U.S. A difference-in-difference method is extended to second moments to verify the statistical significance of this finding. We then develop a stochastic model of outsourcing with heterogeneous firms that can explain this volatility. The model employs two novel mechanisms: an extensive margin in outsourcing which responds endogenously to transmit shocks internationally, and translog preferences which modulate firm entry.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2007. "Outsourcing and Volatility," NBER Working Papers 13144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13144 Note: ITI
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, January.
    2. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1339-1382.
    3. Bergin, Paul R. & Feenstra, Robert C., 2000. "Staggered price setting, translog preferences, and endogenous persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 657-680, June.
    4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    5. 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.
    6. Burstein, Ariel & Kurz, Christopher & Tesar, Linda, 2008. "Trade, production sharing, and the international transmission of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 775-795, May.
    7. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
    8. M. Ayhan Kose & Kei-Mu Yi, 2001. "International Trade and Business Cycles: Is Vertical Specialization the Missing Link?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 371-375, May.
    9. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tamim Bayoumi & Andrew J Swiston, 2008. "Spillovers Across NAFTA," IMF Working Papers 08/3, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2009. "Globalization, Macroeconomic Performance, and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(s1), pages 187-196, February.
    3. Buch, Claudia M. & Lipponer, Alexander, 2010. "Volatile multinationals? Evidence from the labor demand of German firms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 345-353, April.
    4. Döhrn, Roland & Kitlinski, Tobias & Schmidt, Torsten & Vosen, Simeon, 2010. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Ausland: Belasteter Aufschwung," RWI Konjunkturberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 61(1), pages 5-35.
    5. Claudia M. Buch, 2008. "The Great Risk Shift? Income Volatility in an International Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2465, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Burstein, Ariel & Kurz, Christopher & Tesar, Linda, 2008. "Trade, production sharing, and the international transmission of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 775-795.
    7. Silvio Contessi, 2010. "How does multinational production change international comovement?," Working Papers 2010-041, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    8. Costas Arkolakis & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2009. "Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 655-680, December.
    9. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2008. "Much Ado About Nothing: American Jobs and the Rise of Service Outsourcing to China and India," NBER Working Papers 14061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Anna Giunta & Domenico Scalera & Annamaria Nifo, 2008. "Divisione del lavoro, crescita e divari di performance nell'industria italiana degli anni '90," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0097, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    11. Adamcik, Santiago, 2008. "Efectos de la Globalizacion sobre la Inflacion y la politica Monetaria Domestica
      [Globalization Effect on both Inflation and Domestic Monetary Policy]
      ," MPRA Paper 9242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Zlate, Andrei, 2016. "Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 34-49.
    13. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra, 2009. "Pass-Through of Exchange Rates and Competition between Floaters and Fixers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(s1), pages 35-70, February.
    14. Arti Grover, 2010. "The Role of Technological Complexity and Absorptive Capacity in Internalization Decision," Working Papers id:2843, eSocialSciences.
    15. Maroula Khraiche, 2009. "Trade, Firm Structure, and Migration of Talent," Working papers 2009-35, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    16. Roberto Coronado, 2011. "Offshoring and volatility: more evidence from Mexico's maquiladora industry," Working Papers 1106, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    17. Giunta, Anna & Nifo, Annamaria & Scalera, Domenico, 2009. "Subcontracting in the Italian industry. Labour Division, Firms’ Growth and North-South Divide," MPRA Paper 13084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Peters Heiko & Weigert Benjamin, 2013. "Beschäftigungsentwicklung innerhalb deutscher multinationaler Unternehmen während der globalen Rezession 2008/2009 / Employment Changes Within German Multinational Companies During the Global Recessio," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(4), pages 505-525, August.
    19. Moon, Yongma & Yao, Tao & Jiang, Bin, 2011. "Outsourcing versus joint venture from vendor's perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 23-31, January.
    20. repec:eee:energy:v:125:y:2017:i:c:p:55-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Arti, 2007. "The Role of Technological Complexity and Absorptive Capacity in Internalization Decision," Working papers 153, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    22. Roland Döhrn & Tobias Kitlinski & Torsten Schmidt & Simeon Vosen, 2010. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Ausland zur Jahreswende 2009/2010 - Belasteter Aufschwung," RWI Konjunkturbericht, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 31, 03.
    23. Khraiche, Maroula, 2014. "Trade, capital adjustment and the migration of talent," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 24-40.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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