This paper studies the effects of tariffs on intra-firm trade. Building on the Antràs and Helpman (2004) North-South theoretical framework, the author shows that higher Northern tariffs reduce the incentives for outsourcing and offshoring, while higher Southern tariffs have the opposite effects. The author also shows that increased offshoring and outsourcing imply a descrease in the ratio of Northern intra-firm imports to total imports, an empirically testable prediction. Using a highly disaggregated dataset of U.S. (the North) imports and relevant U.S. and foreign tariffs, I find robust evidence to support the model’s predictions.
This paper was revised in May 2013.
Keywords: intra-firm trade, offshoring, outsourcing, tariffs
JEL Classifications: F10, F23, L22, L23