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A Simple Theory of Offshoring and Reshoring


  • Chu, Angus C.


  • Cozzi, Guido


  • Furukawa, Yuichi



In this study, we predict a pattern of offshoring and reshoring over the course of economic development. We achieve this, by extending Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg’s (2008) model of offshoring in a simple way by assuming that offshoring requires both workers and capital in the offshored country. As a consequence, the accumulation of capital in the offshored country has two opposing effects on offshoring. On the one hand, it increases the wage rate of workers rendering offshoring less attractive. On the other hand, it decreases the rental price of capital rendering offshoring more attractive. Putting these two effects together, we analytically generate the inverted-U pattern of offshoring recently observed in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Furukawa, Yuichi, 2013. "A Simple Theory of Offshoring and Reshoring," Economics Working Paper Series 1309, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2013:09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
    2. Pol Antràs & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 31-77.
    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. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
    6. Xing, Yuqing, 2012. "Processing trade, exchange rates and China's bilateral trade balances," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 540-547.
    7. Chong-En Bai & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Yingyi Qian, 2006. "The Return to Capital in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(2), pages 61-102.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    10. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:4784031 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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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    More about this item


    Trade; offshoring; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions


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