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Global Sourcing of a Complex Good

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  • Van Biesebroeck, Johannes
  • Zhang, Lijun

Abstract

We analyze a firm that produces a final good from multiple intermediates that can each be sourced domestically or from a low-wage country. The model explicitly incorporates that sourcing decisions of intermediates are interdependent. Equilibrium predictions depend crucially on a key modeling assumption--the nature of the trade friction that foreign production has to overcome. If production abroad involves a fixed cost, offshoring one intermediate unambiguously facilitates offshoring of other intermediates. However, if production abroad involves incomplete contracts, offshoring one intermediate almost always makes it more difficult to offshore others. We illustrate that the pattern in prices at which successive automotive parts are imported into the U.S. accords better with the predictions of the incomplete contracting model, except for a few countries with the best governance indicators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8614.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8614

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Keywords: FDI; Outsourcing; property rights;

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References

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  1. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan & Antras, Pol, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 4784029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Antràs, Pol & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "Putting Things In Order: Trade Dynamics And Product Cycles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 369-382, August.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
  7. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2013. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," DICE Discussion Papers 125, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  8. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2008. "An Assignment Theory of Foreign Direct Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 529-557.
  9. Alla Lileeva & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2008. "Outsourcing when Investments are Specific and Complementary," NBER Working Papers 14477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
  11. Bartel, Ann P & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Sharon Novak & Scott Stern, 2009. "Complementarity Among Vertical Integration Decisions: Evidence from Automobile Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(2), pages 311-332, February.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2013. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," DICE Discussion Papers 125, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  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. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 123-139.

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