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Determinants of vertical integration in export processing: Theory and evidence from China

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  • Fernandes, Ana P.
  • Tang, Heiwai

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of vertical integration versus outsourcing in export processing, by exploiting the coexistence of two export processing regimes in China, which designate by law who owns and controls the imported components. Based on a variant of the Antràs-Helpman (2004) model, we show theoretically that control over imported components for assembly can affect firm integration decisions. Our empirical results show that when Chinese plants control the use of components, the export share of foreign-owned plants is positively correlated with the intensity of inputs provided by the headquarter (capital, skill, and R&D). These results are consistent with the property-rights theory of intra-firm trade. However, when foreign firms own and control the components, there is no evidence of a positive relationship between the intensity of headquarters' inputs and the prevalence of vertical integration. The results are consistent with our model that considers control over imported components as an alternative to asset ownership to alleviate hold-up by export-processing plants.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 99 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 396-414

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:2:p:396-414

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: Intra-firm trade; Vertical integration; Export processing; Outsourcing;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Li, Fangyi & Song, Zhouying & Liu, Weidong, 2014. "China's energy consumption under the global economic crisis: Decomposition and sectoral analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 193-202.
  2. Kalina Manova & Zhihong Yu, 2012. "Firms and Credit Constraints along the Global Value Chain: Processing Trade in China," NBER Working Papers 18561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sergey Mityakov & Heiwai Tang & Kevin K. Tsui, 2012. "International Politics and Import Diversification in the Second Wave of Globalization," Development Working Papers 342, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 13 Nov 2012.
  4. Ana Fernandes & Heiwai Tang, 2014. "Learning to Export from Neighbors," Development Working Papers 370, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 26 Jun 2014.
  5. Pol Antràs & Stephen R.Yeaple, 2013. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 18775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gourdon, Julien & Monjon, Stéphanie & Poncet, Sandra, 2014. "Incomplete VAT rebates to exporters : how do they affect China's export performance?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13784, Paris Dauphine University.

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