Heterogeneous Globalization: Offshoring and Reorganization
NBER Working Paper No. 26854
This paper exploits a unique offshoring survey to show that firms continue domestic production of the same goods they offshore to low-wage countries. This shift towards “produced-good imports” coincides with a reallocation of labor from physical production to innovation and technology occupations, and an increase in domestically-produced varieties' unit values. These responses suggest an additional, firm-level benefit of trade liberalization: the opportunity to offshore production of low-quality varieties, thereby freeing up domestic resources for the development, production, and marketing of higher-quality varieties. Firms’ reactions also motivate a new offshoring measure – produced- good imports – that is readily observed in most firm-level datasets.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26854