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Trade liberalization and organizational change

Author

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  • Conconi, Paola
  • Legros, Patrick
  • Newman, Andrew F.

Abstract

We embed a simple incomplete-contracts model of organization design in a standard two-country perfectly-competitive trade model to examine how the liberalization of product and factor markets affects the ownership structure of firms. In our model, managers decide whether or not to integrate their firms, trading off the pecuniary benefits of coordinating production decisions with the private benefits of operating in their preferred ways. The price of output is a crucial determinant of this choice, since it affects the size of the pecuniary benefits. Organizational choices also depend on the terms of trade in supplier markets, which affect the division of surplus between managers. We show that, even when firms do not relocate across countries, the price changes triggered by the liberalization of product markets can lead to changes in ownership structures within countries. The removal of barriers to factor mobility can also induce widespread restructuring, which can lead to increases in product prices (or declines in quality), hurting consumers worldwide.

Suggested Citation

  • Conconi, Paola & Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 2012. "Trade liberalization and organizational change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 197-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:86:y:2012:i:2:p:197-208
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.11.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Creane, Anthony & Jeitschko, Thomas D., 2016. "Exporting to bypass weak institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 185-197.
    2. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Bohdan Kukharskyy & Gerard Roland, 2015. "Culture and Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 21198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dalia Marin & Linda Rousová & Thierry Verdier, 2021. "Do Multinationals Transplant their Business Model?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(634), pages 899-945.
    4. Pol Antràs, 2014. "Grossman–Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(suppl_1), pages 118-175.
    5. Alfaro, Laura & Conconi, Paola & Fadinger, Harald & Newman, Andrew, 2010. "Trade Policy and Firm Boundaries," CEPR Discussion Papers 7899, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Fernandes, Ana P. & Tang, Heiwai, 2012. "Determinants of vertical integration in export processing: Theory and evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 396-414.
    7. Fabrice Defever, 2011. "Incomplete Contracts and the Impact of Globalization on Consumer Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 3484, CESifo.
    8. Maria Guadalupe & Julie M. Wulf, 2008. "The Flattening Firm and Product Market Competition: The Effect of Trade Liberalization," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-067, Harvard Business School.
    9. Ki‐Dong Lee & Kangsik Choi & DongJoon Lee, 2020. "Endogenous vertical structure and trade policy in an import‐competing market," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(8), pages 1431-1445, December.
    10. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2013. "Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 345-357.
    11. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2009. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," Working Papers 126, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    12. Antrà s, Pol & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2014. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 55-130, Elsevier.
    13. P. Giannoccolo & C. Vergari, 2015. "Revealing incentives for vertical integration in the presence of glocal policies," Working Papers wp1015, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    14. Hartmut Egger & Michael Koch, 2013. "Trade and the Firm-Internal Allocation of Workers to Tasks," Working Papers 139, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    15. Ildikó Magyari, 2017. "Firm Reorganization, Chinese Imports, and US Manufacturing Employment," Working Papers 17-58, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    16. Friberg, R & Tinn, K, 2012. "Holdup and Comparative Advantage," Working Papers 12193, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    17. Simone Moriconi, 2012. "Taxation and Incomplete Contracts," DEM Discussion Paper Series 12-08, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    18. Peter Arendorf Bache & Anders Laugesen, 2013. "Trade Liberalisation and Vertical Integration," Economics Working Papers 2013-14, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    19. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2013. "A Price Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 725-770.
    20. Chen, Cheng, 2019. "Trade liberalization, agency problem and aggregate productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 421-442.
    21. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2008. "Competitive Prices and Organizational Choices," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-173, Boston University - Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Theory of the firm; Incomplete contracts; Globalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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