American Economic Review
This paper documents the existence and characteristics of US firms that do not manufacture themselves, but nonetheless are heavily involved in the production of goods. These factoryless goods producing firms (FGPFs) are formally in the wholesale sector but, unlike traditional wholesale firms, FGPFs design the goods they sell and coordinate production activities. FGPFs in the wholesale sector are larger and younger, pay higher wages, span more sectors and had more manufacturing employment in previous years compared to traditional wholesalers. FGPFs are more likely to import than typical wholesalers, though their imports constitute a smaller share of their total domestic activity.
Bernard, Andrew B. and Fort, Teresa C., "Factoryless Goods Producing Firms" (2015). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 2383.