Asymmetric Information and Global Sourcing

Shin Chen Huang
Chia Hui Lu

April 2009


This paper aims to study the choice of offshoring modes made by multinationals in the presence of asymmetric information. We focus on two types of asymmetric information, namely hidden characteristics and hidden action. The former creates adverse selection problem, and the later leads to moral hazard problem, both of which incur non-trivial costs to multinationals. We show that different offshoring modes, including greenfield foreign direct investment, joint venture, and outsourcing, can serve as a means to overcome or mitigate the problem of information asymmetry. We study the conditions under which one particular type of offshore modes dominates the others. The model generates implications consistent with the patterns of the prevalence of various offshoring models over time, and across industries and countries.

Full text

PDF Download (PDF: 416KB)