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Firm Heterogeneity, Contract Enforcement, and the Industry Dynamics of Offshoring

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Author Info

  • Alireza Naghavi

    ()
    (University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy and FEEM, RECent)

  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

    ()
    (Bocconi University DEP-KITeS, Milan, Italy - and FEEM, CEPR)

Abstract

develop an endogenous growth model to study the long run consequences of offshoring with firm heterogeneity and incomplete contracts. In so doing, we model offshoring as the geographical fragmentation of a firm’s production chain between a home upstream division and a foreign downstream one. On the positive side, we show that, when contracts are incomplete, the possibility of offshoring has favorable implications for economic growth. Yet, offshoring induced by a higher bargaining power of the upstream division can hamper growth: while there is always a positive correlation between upstream bargaining weight and offshoring activities, there is a non-monotonic relationship between these and growth. Whether offshoring with incomplete contracts also increases consumption depends on firm heterogeneity. On the normative side, we show that, whereas with complete contract efficiency is restored through a subsidy to R&D only, with incomplete contracts a production subsidy to offshored upstream divisions is needed too.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 022.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites22_wp

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Related research

Keywords: offshoring; heterogeneous firms; incomplete contracts; growth; industry dynamics;

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References

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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
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  3. Gustafsson, Peter & Segerstrom, Paul, 2006. "Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2006. "Trade and Growth with Heterogenous Firms," NBER Working Papers 12326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Relationship Specificity, Incomplete Contracts and the Pattern of Trade," International Trade 0512018, EconWPA.
  6. 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.
  7. Helpman, Elhanan & Antras, Pol, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 4784029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "International outsourcing and factor prices with multistage production," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C166-C185, 03.
  9. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Working Papers 147, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  10. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Naghavi, Alireza & Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo, 2006. "Offshoring and Product Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6008, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Alexander HIJZEN & INUI Tomohiko & TODO Yasuyuki, 2007. "Does Offshoring Pay? Firm-Level Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 07005, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  13. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," NBER Working Papers 12091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2010. "Offshoring in a Ricardian World," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 227-58, April.
  15. Richard Baldwin & Frederic Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Offshoring: General Equilibrium Effects on Wages, Production and Trade," NBER Working Papers 12991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Naghavi, Alireza & Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo, 2006. "Outsourcing, Contracts and Innovation Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 5681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Segerstrom, Paul S, 1998. "Endogenous Growth without Scale Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1290-1310, December.
  19. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  20. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Van Assche, Ari & Schwartz, Galina A., 2010. "Input specificity and global sourcing," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-85, March.
  2. Andreas Hoefele, 2013. "The Skill Content of Offshoring and Growth," Discussion Paper Series 2013_12, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Oct 2013.

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