Size Evolution and Outsourcing: Theory and Evidence from Australian Manufacturing
37 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 1, 2011
This paper sheds new light on the forces shaping outsourcing decision by considering a certain form of non-linearity in overhead costs which effectively discretizes a firm’s size into small and large regimes. Extending Grossman & Helpman (2002) in this line shows that firms unable to fully transition from small to large due to their level of efficiency would outsource to downsize and save on overhead costs. A panel of Australian manufacturing firms is used to construct an instrument for the transitioning firm and to test the hypothesis. In support of the theory, those firms in transition with no growth plans have stronger incentives to contract out and downsize. The findings open a new avenue to rethink growth and job creation amongst small businesses.
Keywords: small business, productivity, outsourcing, overhead cost
JEL Classification: C38, D23, L24, L6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation