Outsourcing under Imperfect Protection of Intellectual Property
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The paper examines behind expanded outsourcing by modeling outsourcing decisions when intellectual property rights are imperfectly protected. Firms in the North develop higher quality levels of existing products and then decide whether to shift some stages of production to the South. Production in the South lowers costs but entails risk of imitation by Southern firms. In this setting, a lower risk of imitation or larger labor supplies can cause increased outsourcing, a higher rate of innovation, and a lower Northern relative wage. Damage due to lower incomes can be offset by gains in terms of better quality products. Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004.
Review of International Economics
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