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Efficiency and Outsourcing: Evidence from Australian Manufacturing

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  • Sasan Bakhtiari

    () (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sasan Bakhtiari, 2011. "Efficiency and Outsourcing: Evidence from Australian Manufacturing," Discussion Papers 2012-07, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-07
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    File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2012-07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan, 2010. "Does Outsourcing Reduce Wages in the Low-Wage Service Occupations? Evidence from Janitors and Guards," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 287-306, January.
    3. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert Breunig & Marn-Heong Wong, 2008. "A Richer Understanding of Australia's Productivity Performance in the 1990s: Improved Estimates Based Upon Firm-Level Panel Data," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(265), pages 157-176, June.
    6. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
    7. 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.
    8. José C. Fariñas & Ana Martín-Marcos, 2010. "Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 482-506, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sasan Bakhtiari, 2011. "Size Evolution and Outsourcing: Theory and Evidence from Australian Manufacturing," Discussion Papers 2012-08, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Outsourcing; Productivity; Cost Advantage; Manufacturing.;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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