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The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms

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  • Gregory Corcos
  • Delphine M. Irac
  • Giordano Mion
  • Thierry Verdier

Abstract

How well does the theory of the firm explain the choice between intrafirm and arms' 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: (i) in capital- and skill-intensive firms; (ii) in highly productive firms; (iii) from countries with well-functioning judicial institutions. We further bridge previous aggregate findings with our investigation by decomposing intrafirm imports into an extensive and intensive margin. Doing so we uncover interesting patterns in the data that require further theoretical investigation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1119.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1119

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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. 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.
  3. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Relationship Specificity, Incomplete Contracts and the Pattern of Trade," International Trade 0512018, EconWPA.
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  5. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," NBER Working Papers 14262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Carluccio, J. & Fally, T., 2011. "Global Sourcing under Imperfect Capital Markets," Working papers 312, Banque de France.
  8. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
  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. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Helpman, Elhanan, 2013. "Foreign Trade and Investment: Firm-Level Perspectives," CEPR Discussion Papers 9482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Intellectual Property Rights, Product Complexity, and the Organization of Multinational Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 4430, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Egger, Peter & Seidel, Tobias, 2013. "Corporate taxes and intra-firm trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 225-242.
  6. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2014. "Global Value Chains: Surveying Drivers, Measures and Impacts," Working Papers w201403, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.

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