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Contracts and the Division of Labor

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Pol Antràs
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We develop a tractable framework for the analysis of the relationship between contractual incompleteness, technological complementarities, and technology adoption. In our model a firm chooses its technology and investment levels in contractible activities by suppliers of intermediate inputs. Suppliers then choose investments in noncontractible activities, anticipating payoffs from an ex post bargaining game. We show that greater contractual incompleteness leads to the adoption of less advanced technologies and that the impact of contractual incompleteness is more pronounced when there is greater complementary among the intermediate inputs. We study a number of applications of the main framework and show that the mechanism proposed in the paper can generate sizable productivity differences across countries with different contracting institutions and that differences in contracting institutions lead to endogenous comparative advantage differences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11356.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11356

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References

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  1. Antras, Pol, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," Scholarly Articles 3196324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. William Hawkins & Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model," 2010 Meeting Papers 1040, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Bental, Benjamin & Demougin, Dominique, 2010. "Declining labor shares and bargaining power: An institutional explanation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 443-456, March.
  3. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:325-340 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Dalia Marin, 2006. "A New International Division of Labor in Europe: Outsourcing and Offshoring to Eastern Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 612-622, 04-05.
  5. Benjamin Bental & Dominique Demougin, 2006. "Institutions, Bargaining Power and Labor Shares," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-009, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  6. Raouf Boucekkine & Patricia Criffo & Claudio Mattalia, 2008. "Technological progress, organizational change and the size of the Human Resources Department," Working Papers 2008_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
  8. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Existenzgründungen: Ein Weg zur Beschäftigungsförderung? (Firm foundation * a way to enhance employment?)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 325-340.
  9. Macchiavello, Rocco, 2007. "Financial Constraints and the Costs and Benefits of Vertical Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 6104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Marin, Dalia, 2005. "A New International Division of Labor in Europe: Offshoring and Outsourcing to Eastern Europe," Discussion Papers in Economics 714, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Existenzgründungen: Ein Weg zur Beschäftigungsförderung?," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-71, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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