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Title:Greasing the wheels of international commerce: how services facilitate firms' international sourcing PDF Logo
Authors:Debaere, Peter
Görg, Holger
Raff, Horst
Issue Date:2010
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4729
Abstract:We use unique plant-level data to study the link between the local availability of services and the decision of manufacturing firms to source materials from abroad. To guide our empirical analysis we develop a monopolistic-competition model of the materials sourcing decisions of heterogeneous firms. The model generates predictions about how the intensity of international sourcing of materials depends on a firm's productivity and the availability of local services. These predictions are supported by the data. We find evidence that more productive manufacturing firms tend to have a higher ratio of imported materials to sales. In addition, we find evidence that services grease the wheels of international commerce: A greater availability of services across regions, industries and time increases a firm's foreign sourcing of materials relative to sales. Interestingly, this positive impact of local service availability on imports especially applies to stand-alone firms that, unlike multinationals, are less likely to rely on imported or internally provided services.
Subjects:International trade
services
off-shoring
supply chain management
firm heterogeneity
JEL:F12
L23
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Publikationen von Forscherinnen und Forschern des IfW
IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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