The Effects of Offshore Assembly on Industry Location: Evidence from U.S. Border Cities

37 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2003

See all articles by Gordon H. Hanson

Gordon H. Hanson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1995

Abstract

In this paper, I examine how the growth of offshore assembly in Mexico has affected manufacturing activity in U.S. border cities. Under the offshore assembly provision of the U.S. tariff schedule, goods that are assembled abroad using U.S.-manufactured components receive preferential tariff treatment upon reentry into the United States. Foreign assembly plants in Mexico, most of which are owned by U.S.-based multinationals, are overwhelmingly concentrated along the border with the United States. I combine data on employment and earnings in two-digit manufacturing industries for U.S. border cities with data on employment and value added in foreign assembly plants in the corresponding Mexican border cities. I study the effect that the expansion of offshore assembly in a Mexican border city has on durable and nondurable manufacturing activities in the neighboring U.S. border city. The estimation results show strong support for the hypothesis that the growth of export assembly in Mexico increases the demand for manufacturing goods produced in U.S. border cities. Implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement for the U.S.-Mexico border region are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Hanson, Gordon H., The Effects of Offshore Assembly on Industry Location: Evidence from U.S. Border Cities (December 1995). NBER Working Paper No. w5400. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225461

Gordon H. Hanson (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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