The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper uses a vertical differentiation duopoly framework to analyze firms’ relocation decisions, when the removal of trade barriers or restrictions on capital outflows or inflows (“globalization”) allows them to serve the domestic market through foreign plants in low-wage countries. The relocation of the entire industry yields net welfare costs, but the relocation of one (and only one) firm, may be welfare improving. When the economy is “high-(or low-) quality biased,” the relocation of the firm producing the high- (or low-) quality variant is preferred, on welfare terms, to that of other firms, if the wage differential is large enough.