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Strategic sourcing and wage bargaining

Nicholas Sly and Anson Soderbery ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2014, vol. 109, issue C, 172-187

Abstract: We examine how multinational firms strategically source production to mitigate the consequences of wage bargaining with workers. When wage bargaining pressure differs across countries, firms allocate production of goods with high markups toward countries with relatively competitive labor markets, limiting the rents available to workers with strong bargaining power. We use product-level data from the universe of automotive production facilities in North America at a monthly frequency between 1988 and 2009 to structurally estimate variable price elasticities of demand for different vehicles. From the theory we derive an empirical strategy that allows us to distinguish the impact of wage bargaining pressure from other sourcing motives. We find robust evidence that multinational firms strategically source their products across countries in response to differences in wage bargaining pressure.

Keywords: Strategic sourcing; Wage bargaining; Price markups; Multiproduct firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F1 F2 L2 L6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.04.005

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:109:y:2014:i:c:p:172-187