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The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms

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  • 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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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. Wilfred J. Ethier & James R. Markusen, 1991. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," NBER Working Papers 3825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Juan Carluccio & Thibault Fally, 2012. "Global Sourcing under Imperfect Capital Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 740-763, August.
  3. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Antràs, Pol & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Relationship Specificity, Incomplete Contracts and the Pattern of Trade," International Trade 0512018, EconWPA.
  11. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Ranjan, Priya & Tobias, Justin, 2007. "Bayesian Inference in the Gravity Model," Staff General Research Papers 12721, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Valeria Gattai & Valentina Trovato, 2014. "Estimating sourcing premia with Italian regional data," Working Papers 276, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
  2. 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.
  3. Elhanan Helpman, 2014. "Foreign Trade and Investment: Firm-level Perspectives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(321), pages 1-14, 01.
  4. 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).
  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. 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.
  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 and firm selection," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 63, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  9. 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.

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