The outsourcing of intermediate products to international suppliers is believed to improve firm performance. We investigate this claim and test key dimensions of the decision to outsource internationally using survey data on 200 manufacturing firms located in the Netherlands. We find that most international outsourcing is intra-regional in nature. Furthermore, international outsourcing is a consequence of a firm's ability to search and evaluate foreign suppliers, which is co-determined by its size, multinationality, and frequency of cross-border communications. Finally, no performance effects were observed for international or global outsourcing. We conclude international outsourcing is a balancing act between lower production costs abroad and lower transaction costs locally.

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Keywords Firm performance, Intermediate products, International outsourcing, Regionalisation/globalisation
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Journal International Business Review
Mol, M, van Tulder, R.J.M, & Beije, P.R. (2005). Antecedents and performance consequences of international outsourcing. International Business Review, 14(5), 599–617. doi:10.1016/j.ibusrev.2005.05.004