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The Determinants of Vertical Integration in Export Processing: Theory and Evidence from China

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  • Ana Fernandes

    ()
    (University of Sussex)

  • Heiwai Tang

    ()
    (Tufts University and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)

Abstract

Using detailed product-level export data for China and a variant of the Antràs and Helpman (2004) model that includes investments in component search, we examine the sectoral determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) versus foreign outsourcing in export processing trade. We exploit the coexistence of two regulatory export processing regimes in China, which specify who owns and controls the imported components for export processing. We find that in the regime that Chinese plants own the imported components, the share of exports from vertically integrated plants is increasing in the intensity of headquarter inputs across sectors, and is decreasing in the contractibility of inputs. These results are consistent with the property- rights theory of intra-firm trade. However, in the regime that foreign firms own the imported components, no significant relationship is found between the prevalence of vertical integration, headquarter intensity and input contractibility across sectors. The positive relationship between productivity dispersion and the export share of integrated plants across sectors, as suggested by the existing literature, is found only in the regime that foreign firms own the imported components. These results are consistent with our model, which considers ownership of imported components as an alternative to asset ownership to alleviate the hold-up problem by the export-processing plant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 289.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 30 Apr 2010
Date of revision: 30 Apr 2010
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:289

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Keywords: Intra�rm trade; Vertical integration; Export processing; Outsourcing;

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References

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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Emanuel Ornelas & John L. Turner, 2008. "Protection and international sourcing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28511, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Pol Antras, 2004. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 62, Econometric Society.
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  8. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  14. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  15. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Sergey Mityakov & Heiwai Tang & Kevin K. Tsui, 2012. "InternationalPolitics and Import Diversification in the Second Wave of Globalization," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0770, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Ana Fernandes & Heiwai Tang, 2012. "Learning from Neighbors' Export Activities: Evidence from Exporters' Survival," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0766, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Heiwai Tang & Yifan Zhang, 2011. "Exchange Rates and the Margins of Trade: Evidence from Chinese Exporters," Working Papers 392011, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  4. Antràs, Pol, 2011. "Grossman-Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production," CEPR Discussion Papers 8598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Antras, Pol, 2014. "Grossman-Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production," Scholarly Articles 12220386, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Debaere, Peter & Lee, Hongshik & Lee, Joonhyung, 2013. "Language, ethnicity and intrafirm trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 244-253.

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