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Sourcing Premia with Incomplete Contracts: Theory and Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Kohler Wilhelm K

    ()

    (University of Tübingen)

  • Smolka Marcel

    ()

    (University of Tübingen)

Drawing on Grossman & Helpman (2004) and Antràs & Helpman (2004), we identify general conditions that result in an unambiguous mapping of a firm’s productivity level into the organizational form and location of its input sourcing. Using a detailed 2006-2008 data set for Spanish manufacturing firms, we then establish a number of stylized facts about firm-level heterogeneity in sourcing strategies that have largely gone unnoticed in existing literature on input sourcing. Finally, we explore this heterogeneity through econometric estimation of productivity premia associated with different sourcing strategies. We find a robustly significant premium on a strategy that features offshore production of intermediate inputs through a related party (vertical integration). Lower productivity premia are found for strategies that rely on outsourcing to unrelated parties abroad or on vertical integration within the home economy. Across all specifications employed, estimated mean productivity is lowest for domestic-outsourcing firms.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-39

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:10
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  1. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
  2. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  4. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Optimal integration strategies for the multinational firm," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 216-238, September.
  5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  6. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
  7. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Productivity and the sourcing modes of multinational firms: evidence from French firm-level data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19655, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761.
  9. Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Bi-sourcing in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 215-222, April.
  10. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
  11. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2003. "Multivariate probit regression using simulated maximum likelihood," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(3), pages 278-294, September.
  12. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Dalia Marin & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "The Organisation of Firms in a Global Economy: Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00754767, HAL.
  14. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus Integration at Home or Abroad," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 742, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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