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Global Sourcing of Complex Production Processes

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  • Christian Schwarz
  • Jens Suedekum

Abstract

We develop a theory of a firm in an incomplete contracts environment which decides on its complexity, organization, and global scale. Specifically, the firm decides i) how thinly it wants to slice its production process by choosing the mass of symmetric intermediate inputs that are simultaneously combined to a final product, ii) if the supplier of each component is an external contractor or an integrated affiliate, and iii) if that component is offshored to a foreign country. We also consider the case of asymmetric inputs. Our model leads to a rich set of novel predictions about the structure of multinational firms that are consistent with stylized facts from the recent empirical literature.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-08/cesifo1_wp3559.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3559.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3559

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Keywords: multinational firms; outsourcing; intra-firm trade; offshoring; vertical FDI;

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References

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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 17627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Bi-sourcing in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 215-222, April.
  3. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  4. Corcos, Gregory & Irac, Delphine & Mion, Giordano & Verdier, Thierry, 2009. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7530, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2011. "Productivity, Relationship-Specific Inputs and the Sourcing Modes of Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 8656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Carlo Altomonte & Armando Rungi, 2013. "Business Groups as Hierarchies of Firms: Determinants of Vertical Integration and Performance," Working Papers 2013.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2009. "Organizations and Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 43-64, 05.
  10. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  11. Liza Jabbour, . "“Slicing the Value Chain” Internationally: Empirical Evidence on the Offshoring Strategy by French Firms," Discussion Papers 08/02, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  13. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Productivity and the sourcing modes of multinational firms: evidence from French firm-level data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19655, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. 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.
  15. Su Wang & Jonathan Vogel & Arnaud Costinot, 2011. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," 2011 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
  17. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Lijun, 2011. "Global Sourcing of a Complex Good," CEPR Discussion Papers 8614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2118, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2006. "Offshoring, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Structure of U.S. Trade," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 602-611, 04-05.
  20. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761, May.
  21. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
  23. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus Integration at Home or Abroad," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 742, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  24. José C. Fariñas & Ana Martín-Marcos, 2010. "Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 482-506, 03.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Verena Nowak & Christian Schwarz & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "On the Organizational Structure of Multinational Firms - Which Sourcing Mode for which Input?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3823, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Lijun, 2011. "Global Sourcing of a Complex Good," CEPR Discussion Papers 8614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Pol Antràs, 2011. "Grossman-Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production," NBER Working Papers 17470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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