Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pol Antras

Abstract

The incomplete nature of contracts governing international transactions limits the extent to which the production process can be fragmented across borders. In a dynamic, general-equilibrium Ricardian model of North-South trade, the incompleteness of international contracts is shown to lead to the emergence of product cycles. Because of contractual frictions, goods are initially manufactured in the North, where product development takes place. As the good matures and becomes more standardized, the manufacturing stage of production is shifted to the South to benefit from lower wages. Following the property-rights approach to the theory of the firm, the same force that creates product cycles, i.e., incomplete contracts, opens the door to a parallel analysis of the determinants of the mode of organization. The model gives rise to a new version of the product cycle in which manufacturing is shifted to the South first within firm boundaries, and only at a later stage to independent firms in the South. Relative to a world with only arm's length transacting, allowing for intrafirm production transfer by multinational firms is shown to accelerate the shift of production towards the South, while having an ambiguous effect on relative wages. The model delivers macroeconomic implications that complement the work of Krugman (1979), as well as microeconomic implications consistent with the findings of the empirical literature on the product cycle

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://post.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/antras/papers/ICPCRevised.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to post.economics.harvard.edu:80 (Bad hostname). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Christian Zimmermann)
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 19.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:19

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Email:
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Product Cycles; Property-Rights Theory; Multinational Firms;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Wells, Louis T, Jr, 1969. "Test of a Product Cycle Model of International Trade: U.S. Exports of Consumer Durables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 152-62, February.
  2. Pol Antr�s, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
  3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Endogenous Product Cycles," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1214-29, September.
  4. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Davidson, W H & McFetridge, Donald G, 1984. "International Technology Transactions and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 253-64, March.
  6. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 460, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Farok J Contractor, 1984. "Choosing Between Direct Investment and Licensing: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Tests," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 15(3), pages 167-188, September.
  10. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Ethier, Wilfred J. & Markusen, James R., 1996. "Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 1-28, August.
  12. Helpman, Elhanan & Antras, Pol, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 4784029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Theodore H. Moran, 2001. "Parental Supervision: The New Paradigm for Foreign Direct Investment and Development," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa64, November.
  15. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
  16. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Facts And Fallacies About Foreign Direct Investment," Department of Economics 98-04, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  17. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "The Multinational Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 805-33, November.
  19. Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 4081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mansfield, Edwin & Romeo, Anthony & Wagner, Samuel, 1979. "Foreign Trade and U.S. Research and Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 49-57, February.
  21. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
  22. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-91, December.
  23. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  24. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
  25. 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.
  26. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
  27. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  28. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  29. Vernon, Raymond, 1979. "The Product Cycle Hypothesis in a New International Environment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 41(4), pages 255-67, November.
  30. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1998. "International intellectual property rights protection and the rate of product innovation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 133-153, February.
  32. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  33. Wilson, Robert W, 1977. "The Effect of Technological Environment and Product Rivalry on R&D Effort and Licensing of Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(2), pages 171-78, May.
  34. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1990. "On renegotiation design," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9577, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  35. Jocelyn Glass, Amy & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. "Licensing versus direct investment: implications for economic growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 131-153, January.
  36. Mansfield, Edwin & Romeo, Anthony, 1980. "Technology Transfer to Overseas Subsidiaries by U.S.-Based Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 737-50, December.
  37. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ladders And Product Cycles," Papers 39-89, Tel Aviv.
  38. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
  40. W H Davidson & Donald G McFetridge, 1985. "Key Characteristics in the Choice of International Technology Transfer Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 16(2), pages 5-21, June.
  41. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1987. "A Decision Theoretic Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 631-47, October.
  42. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  43. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed004:19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.