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This chapter describes Japanese statistical data directly or indirectly related with cross-border outsourcing. Our research introduced in later chapters of this book derives firm-level data from some of these statistics. Pertinent statistics, even if we do not directly use their micro-data, are also covered in this chapter, as they are useful for our discussions of cross-border outsourcing. Most of the statistics are collected by the government, but we also refer to other related databases. This chapter explains basic information of each statistics; especially, it emphasizes the advantages and limitations involved in analyzing cross-border outsourcing. Our description of Japanese statistics in English is informative chiefly for international readers, as the explanations given by government agencies are mostly in Japanese language. This chapter can be a convenient summary of Japanese statistics on firms and plants from the perspective of outsourcing and offshoring. Readers who do not plan to use Japanese data or are not interested in technical details of the dataset used in this research may skip this chapter.
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The same survey asks respondent firms not only about whether and how much they outsource ( gaichu in Japanese) but also whether and how much they receive outsourcing from other firms ( juchu in Japanese). However, the distinction between foreign and domestic outsourcing is available only for the former part of the survey question. In the latter part of the question, the outsourcing from the parent firm is separated but without foreign–domestic distinction.
Similar outsourcing data are collected in a limited number of countries including France and Spain, as reviewed in the previous chapter. Görg and Hanley (2005) define outsourcing as imports of general intermediates based on imported input data of Irish electronics plants; since this definition includes purchases of standardized inputs from the marketplace, it is inevitably wider than our outsourcing data and the original notion of outsourcing. Gorzig and Stephan (2002) distinguish external contract work from material inputs for German firms, but foreign and domestic purchases are aggregated.
As basically all the questionnaires in official statistics by Japanese government are in Japanese language, the translations into English in this book are by the author and not authorized by the government.
Production of tailor-made apparel based on direct order from consumers is not included in outsourcing, according to the survey’s appendix.
Imports from branch offices/factories are not included as they are not independent legal entities.
The survey also captures the number of overseas establishments ( jigyousho in Japanese). However, this category should be included as a within-firm organization, and thus we did not use it to identify FDI firms in our analysis. The survey did not identify the name of individual subsidiary/affiliate/establishment, though the survey asks firms to report the total number of overseas affiliates that each firm owns.
We will report the results from this assumption in analyzing the relation with the firms’ R&D in Chap. 7.
While commercial sectors (such as wholesale and retail) are also covered by this survey, we concentrate on firms in manufacturing sectors; this is because the data of outsourcing in this survey focus on production outsourcing.
It is impossible to adjust the number of firms exactly in each size-sector cell by varying the sampling ratios; this is because the Japanese government does not disclose the sampling probability for each cell.
A similar type of survey continues though only small-sized firms are randomly sampled. The current survey conducted by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency keeps tracking outsourcing data, but cross-border outsourcing is no longer distinguished from domestic outsourcing.
The survey classifies workers employed for a period exceeding one month as regular employees, even if they are employed with limited terms.
The sales and general administrative expenses in this survey include transport costs, advertising expenses, wage payment to workers in back offices, tax payment, capital depreciations, and rental payments for real estates.
While we focus on manufacturing firms, this survey covers not only manufacturing but also wholesale and retail trade as well as some of the service industries. As not all service industries are covered by this survey, the data on firms in service industry from this survey is not representative of the whole service sector.
As a useful comparison with large-sized firms, Todo (2013) analyzes offshoring by 3512 small- and medium-sized firms based on a survey in 2009 by Japan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Agency.
Though their panel data analysis is informative, their intra-firm offshoring includes imports of raw materials, which is broader than the usual notion of outsourcing and is not directly comparable with their total offshoring (purchases of products and components only).
As BSJBSA covers only firms above the threshold size, the “exit” based on this statistics includes continued operations below the threshold.
In contrast, the MITI survey did not give a clear explanation on the treatment of subsidies when the survey asked about outsourcing to “other firms.” We assume that outsourcing in the MITI survey includes outsourcing to own subsidiary.
This survey originally started in 1971 and was renamed as Basic Survey in 2001. Before this revision, detailed surveys with a longer list of questionnaires were conducted once in three years.
SOBA covers not only affiliates with Japanese ownership of 10% or more but also “sub-subsidiaries” (majority-owned subsidiaries of majority-owned subsidiaries of Japanese firms).
To provide updated information, METI has been conducting the other survey quarterly since 1997 in addition to the annual SOBA. The quarterly survey, called as the Quarterly Survey of Overseas Subsidiaries, collects information only on the number of employees, investment in tangible fixed assets, and sales (disaggregated to local sales, export back to Japan and exports to third countries) of each overseas subsidiary. No other data, such as intra-firm trade, are collected quarterly.
The vertical aspect of keiretsu groups (transactions of intermediates between suppliers and assemblers without ownership linkages) forms the focus of Belderbos et al. (2001); the horizontal aspect (financial relationship with the group’s main bank) is discussed by Amiti and Weinstein (2011) reviewed later in this chapter.
Plants (establishments) with three or less employees are not covered by this census. In Japan, even if all the plants are not covered, this survey is referred to as census. Before the Economic Census began in Japan, this census covered all the plants even below the size threshold, four times in a decade (for the years ending with the digits 0, 3, 5, or 8, respectively) until 2008. The official English translation of the name of this census is Census of Manufacture, not manufacturers.
As an important data collection effort, the U.S. Census of Manufacturers includes data on the contract manufacturing service (CMS) .
This chapter is partly based on Tomiura (2017), which surveys previous articles on each research topic, but has been substantially rearranged as a description of each statistics.
- Japanese Statistics Related with Cross-Border Outsourcing
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 4
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