Outsourcing and Competition Policy
Posted: 5 Apr 2011 Last revised: 21 Oct 2011
Date Written: June 2011
We analyze optimal competition policy by a Competition Agency (CA) in a model with two countries, North and South, were a final good is produced by Northern oligopolistic firms using an input that can either be produced within the firm (vertical integration) or outsourced to Southern oligopolistic producers with lower labor costs (outsourcing). In the case where the final good is only consumed in the North, a CA in the South would optimally appropriate outsourcing rents through restrictions on the degree of competition among domestic firms. If the final good is consumed in both countries, we find that optimal competition policy in the South is marginally affected by the share of Southern consumption, leaving relatively important incentives to engage in rent-shifting. For a high enough share of Southern consumption, however, the interaction between the Northern and Southern CA is shown to be of the Prisoner’s Dilemma type, whereby the Nash equilibrium is Pareto-suboptimal and mutual cooperation on competition policy is globally desirable.
Keywords: competition authority, rents, outsourcing
JEL Classification: F15, F23, L13, L40
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