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Global Sourcing

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  • Pol Antràs
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We present a North South model of international trade in which differentiated products are developed in the North. Sectors are populated by final-good producers who differ in productivity levels. Based on productivity and sectoral characteristics, firms decide whether to integrate into the production of intermediate inputs or outsource them. In either case they have to decide from which country to source the inputs. Final-good producers and their suppliers must make relationship-specific investments, both in an integrated firm and in an arm's-length relationship. We describe an equilibrium in which firms with different productivity levels choose different ownership structures and supplier locations, i.e., they choose different organizational forms. We then study the effects of within-sectoral heterogeneity and variations in industry characteristics on the relative prevalence of these organizational forms. The analysis sheds light on the structure of foreign trade within and across industries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10082.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10082

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  1. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics. 147, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  5. Pol Antr�s, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
  6. Robert E. Lipsey & Magnus Blomstrom & Eric D. Ramstetter, 1998. "Internationalized Production in World Output," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 83-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1846, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  9. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2004. "Globalization and the Empowerment of Talent," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University 1, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  10. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  11. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan K. Taylor, 1993. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  13. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 460, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  17. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  18. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  19. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
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