NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Outsourcing Price Decisions: Evidence from U.S. 9802 Imports

Deborah Swenson

NBER Working Paper No. 11184
Issued in March 2005
NBER Program(s):The International Trade and Investment Program

This paper studies U.S. overseas assembly imports to identify whether factors related to information or search costs appear to condition outsourcing decisions. The data for 1991-2000 show that U.S. overseas assembly imports were characterized by incomplete pass-through of production and trade costs to import prices, though products assembled in more highly educated countries passed-through a much larger portion of their cost changes. In addition, the price of outsourcing imports responded to competing suppliers' prices, with the largest responses occurring for products in capital-intense industries. These differential price responses suggest that information issues play an important role in the mediation of outsourcing relationships.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11184

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