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Organizing the Global Value Chain

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  • Pol Antràs
  • Davin Chor

Abstract

We develop a property-rights model of the firm in which production entails a continuum of uniquely sequenced stages. In each stage, a final-good producer contracts with a distinct supplier for the procurement of a customized stage-specific component. Our model yields a sharp characterization for the optimal allocation of ownership rights along the value chain. We show that the incentive to integrate suppliers varies systematically with the relative position (upstream versus downstream) at which the supplier enters the production line. Furthermore, the nature of the relationship between integration and "downstreamness" depends crucially on the elasticity of demand faced by the final-good producer. Our model readily accommodates various sources of asymmetry across final-good producers and across suppliers within a production line, and we show how it can be taken to the data with international trade statistics. Combining data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Related Party Trade database and estimates of U.S. import demand elasticities from Broda and Weinstein (2006), we find empirical evidence broadly supportive of our key predictions. In the process, we develop two novel measures of the average position of an industry in the value chain, which we construct using U.S. Input-Output Tables.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18163.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Publication status: published as Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18163

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References

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  1. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor & Thibault Fally & Russell Hillberry, 2012. "Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 17819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel & Su Wang, 2011. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," NBER Working Papers 16936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Philipp Harms & Oliver Lorz & Dieter M. Urban, 2009. "Offshoring along the Production Chain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2564, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  6. David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
  7. Eyal Winter, 2006. "Optimal incentives for sequential production processes," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 376-390, 06.
  8. Baldwin, Richard & Venables, Anthony J., 2013. "Spiders and snakes: Offshoring and agglomeration in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 245-254.
  9. Kei-Mu Yi, 2000. "Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?," Staff Reports 96, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," NBER Working Papers 15548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:2:p:376-390 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  14. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2008. "Putting the Parts Together: Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement," Working Papers 580, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  17. Sanyal, Kalyan K, 1983. "Vertical Specialization in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Stages of Production," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 71-78, February.
  18. Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "International outsourcing and factor prices with multistage production," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C166-C185, 03.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Heiwai Tang & Fei Wang & Zhi Wang, 2014. "The Domestic Segment of Global Supply Chains in China under State Capitalism," CESifo Working Paper Series 4797, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2014. "Missing Gains from Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 317-21, May.
  3. Pol Antràs & Stephen R.Yeaple, 2013. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 18775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Philipp Harms & Jaewon Jung & Oliver Lorz, 2014. "Offshoring and Sequential Production Chains: A General-Equilibrium Analysis," Working Papers 14.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  5. Richard Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2010. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An Integrating Framework," NBER Working Papers 15882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 123-139.
  7. Tomohiro MACHIKITA & Yasushi UEKI, 2013. "Who Disseminates Technology to Whom, How, and Why: Evidence from Buyer-Seller Business Networks," Working Papers DP-2013-26, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  8. Kalina Manova & Zhihong Yu, 2012. "Firms and Credit Constraints along the Global Value Chain: Processing Trade in China," NBER Working Papers 18561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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).
  10. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2014. "Global Value Chains: Surveying Drivers, Measures and Impacts," Working Papers w201403, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

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