Efficiency and Outsourcing: Evidence from Australian Manufacturing
This paper studies the role of efficiency in a firm’s decision to contract out. Emphasis is on the heterogeneous nature of firms and when firms are only considering outsourcing to domestic suppliers. Firm-level data on Australian manufacturing reveal an ordering of efficiency between firms that contract out and those that do not, in which contracting-out firms are on aggregate less efficient. The analysis further shows that firms experience improvement in their efficiency soon after contracting out, but only if their performance has been below average prior to contracting out. The results show robustness to the choice of efficiency measure, where efficiency is expressed in both productivity and cost advantage.
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