February 2007

IZA DP No. 2628: Equilibrium Unemployment with Outsourcing under Labour Market Imperfections

published in: Labour Economics, 2009, 16 (3), 284-290

We study both the various consequences and the incentives of outsourcing. We argue that the wage elasticity of labour demand is increasing as a function of the share of outsourcing, which is importantly a result consistent with existing empirical research. Furthermore, we show that a production mode with a higher proportion of outsourcing activity reduces the negotiated wage in the high-wage country with an imperfectly competitive labour market so that outsourcing reduces equilibrium unemployment. Finally, we characterize the optimal production mode and show that stronger labour market imperfections lead to a production mode with a higher share of outsourcing.