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Relational contracts and global sourcing

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  • Kukharskyy, Bohdan

Abstract

Relational contracts – informal agreements sustained by the value of future relationships – are integral parts of global production processes. This paper develops a repeated-game model of global sourcing in which final good producers decide whether to engage with their suppliers in relational contracting and whether to integrate a supplier into a firm's boundaries or deal with the latter at arm's-length. The model predicts that the relative prevalence of vertical integration increases in the long-term orientation of the headquarters' and suppliers' managers. It further suggests that the share of a foreign subsidiary owned by a final good producer increases in the headquarters' long-term orientation. Combining industry-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Related Party Trade database with measures for long-term orientation from Hofstede et al. (2010) and the World Management Survey, I find empirical evidence supportive of the positive link between the long-term orientation of cooperation parties and the relative prevalence of vertical integration. Using information on managerial composition of firms and ownership stakes from the Bureau van Dijk's Orbis database, I find that firms led by long-term oriented managers own higher shares of their foreign subsidiaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2016. "Relational contracts and global sourcing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 123-147.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:101:y:2016:i:c:p:123-147
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.04.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Ching-Lung & Chen, Chung-Yu & Weng, Pei-Yu, 2020. "Do related party transactions always deteriorate earnings informativeness?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    2. Defever, Fabrice & Fischer, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2016. "Relational contracts and supplier turnover in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 147-165.
    3. Wieland, Andreas & Bals, Lydia & Mol, Michael J. & Handfield, Robert B., 2020. "Overcoming blind spots in global sourcing research: Exploiting the cross-sections between supply chain management and international business," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(1).
    4. Eppinger, Peter S. & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2017. "Contracting institutions and firm boundaries," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 100, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    5. Kukharskyy, Bohdan & Pflüger, Michael P., 2018. "Time Is on My Side: Relational Contracts and Aggregate Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 11387, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2020. "A tale of two property rights: Knowledge, physical assets, and multinational firm boundaries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    7. Nowak, Verena, 2016. "Integration or Outsourcing: Combining Ex Ante Distortions and Ex Post Inefficiencies," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145897, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Korff, Alex & Steffen, Nico, 2019. "Economic preferences and trade outcomes," DICE Discussion Papers 321, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relational contracts; Long-term orientation; International make-or-buy decision;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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