This paper develops a theory of outsourcing in which the circumstances under which factors of production can grab rents play the leading role. One factor has monopoly power (call this labor) while a second factor does not (call this capital). There are two kinds of production tasks: labor-intensive and capital-intensive. We show that if frictions limiting outsourcing are not too large, in equilibrium labor-intensive tasks are separated from capital-intensive tasks into distinct firms. When a capital-intensive country is opened to free trade, outsourcing increases and labor rents decline. A decrease in outsourcing frictions lowers labor rents.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||American Economic Journal: Microeconomics|
|State||Published - May 2011|