Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Review of Outsourcing Economics by William S. Milberg, Deborah Winkler

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics
Intriguing Connections = Capitalism, Socialism, their Alternatives and Critiques

Elaborate Description

This book's raison d’être is to bring the discussion of outsourcing to economics; a mission that the authors very effectively succeeded in doing. This book brings the reasons and affects of outsourcing to the forefront.

Some of the key determinants to a offshoring are capital investments, knowledge flows, and economic rents. Outsourcing production while maintaining the core competency allows the firm to access the global division of labor. The company will enforce that its product designs are not replicated by others which allows the company to derive economic rents. There is a huge technology gap when a country is trying to raise its productive capacity as it cannot afford to gain the knowledge and investments. The choice to outsource production is a strategic decision to transfer risk, reduce costs, and create flexibility.

The authors discuss the costs to society just as much as the benefits. Labor becomes more uncertain as the company that outsources gains more bargaining power and leverage over policies. As the choice of suppliers of components increase, the suppliers bargaining power decreases with the alternatives.

The book is generally well written, but some part are not the easiest to read. A lot of statistics and formulas are used to express the effects of outsources, these math part have a readability issue most of the time. When data exists but does not match the theoretical formula variables, only sometimes is the difference mentions. A bit more help for the reader to go through connections between the variables, formulas, and statistics would have improved the analysis.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9781107609624
Pages to read:   317
Publication:     2013
1st Edition:      2013
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          5
Overall           4