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The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms

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Author Info

  • Gregory Corcos

    (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Delphine M. Irac

    (Banque de France)

  • Giordano Mion

    (London School of Economics and CEPR)

  • Thierry Verdier

    (Paris School of Economics and CEPR)

Abstract

How well does the theory of the firm explain the choice between intrafirm and arm's-length trade? This paper uses firm-level import data from France to look into this question. We find support for three key predictions of property rights theories of the multinational firm. Intrafirm imports are more likely in capital- and skill-intensive firms, in highly productive firms, and from countries with well-functioning judicial institutions. We bridge previous aggregate findings with our investigation by decomposing intrafirm imports into an extensive and intensive margin and uncover interesting patterns in the data that require further theoretical investigation. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00293
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 825-838

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:3:p:825-838

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Related research

Keywords: intrafirm trade; outsourcing; firm heterogeneity; incomplete contracts; internationalization strategies; quality of institutions; extensive margin; intensive margin;

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References

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  1. Juan Carluccio & Thibault Fally, 2008. "Global sourcing under imperfect capital markets," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586005, HAL.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Intra-firm trade and product contractibility (Long Version)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48899, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban & Antras, Pol, 2009. "Organizations and Trade," Scholarly Articles 3199064, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Productivity and the Sourcing Modes of Multinational Firms: Evidence from French Firm-Level Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp0842, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Ranjan, Priya & Tobias, Justin, 2007. "Bayesian Inference in the Gravity Model," Staff General Research Papers 12721, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ethier, W.J. & Markusen, J.R., 1993. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," ISER Discussion Paper 0303, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Ignatius Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1987. "Licensing versus Direct Investment: A Model of Internalization by the Multinational Enterprise," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(3), pages 464-81, August.
  9. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  11. Lafontaine, Francine & Slade, Margaret, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries : The Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 799, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Eiichi Tomiura, 2005. "Foreign Outsourcing, Exporting, and FDI: A Productivity Comparison at the Firm Level," Discussion Paper Series 168, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kohler, Wilhelm & Smolka, Marcel, 2013. "Global sourcing and firm selection," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 63, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. A. Naghavi & J. Spies & F. Toubal, 2011. "Intellectual Property Rights, Product Complexity, and the Organization of Multinational Firms," Working Papers wp773, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Nowak, Verena & Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Asymmetric spiders: Supplier heterogeneity and the organization of firms," DICE Discussion Papers 141, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  4. Helpman, Elhanan, 2013. "Foreign Trade and Investment: Firm-Level Perspectives," CEPR Discussion Papers 9482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2014. "Global Value Chains: Surveying Drivers, Measures and Impacts," Working Papers w201403, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  6. Lucia Pérez-Villar & Adnan Seric, 2014. "Multinationals in Sub-Saharan Africa: Domestic Linkages and Institutional Distance," Kiel Working Papers 1893, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Egger, Peter & Seidel, Tobias, 2013. "Corporate taxes and intra-firm trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 225-242.
  8. Kohler, Wilhelm & Smolka, Marcel, 2013. "Global Sourcing: Towards an Empirical Test of the Hold-up Model," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80049, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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