IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals

  • Defever, Fabrice
  • Toubal, Farid

We investigate the roles of productivity and the specificity of inputs for the international sourcing strategy of firms which are part of a multinational network. We present a framework in which firms decide to import from a foreign independent supplier or from their related party abroad according to these two dimensions. We use a detailed survey that provides a detailed geographical breakdown of French firms’ imports at the product level as well as the sourcing mode used for each transaction. The dataset also provides information to estimate the firms’ productivity and their intensity in relationship-specific inputs. After controlling for countries of origin, products and sectors specific effects, the empirical results provide evidence that for the most productive multinationals the likelihood of trading through an independent supplier is higher especially if they use relationship-specific inputs intensively.

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:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 94 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 345-357

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:94:y:2013:i:c:p:345-357
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intrafirm trade and product contractibility," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28616, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  5. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  6. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:85-120 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Egger, Hartmut & Kreickemeier, Udo, 2011. "Why foreign ownership may be good for you," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 19, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  9. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:2:p:646-677 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," NBER Working Papers 12091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eiichi Tomiura, 2005. "Foreign Outsourcing, Exporting, and FDI: A Productivity Comparison at the Firm Level," Discussion Paper Series 168, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  12. Conconi, Paola & Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Organizational Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 7028, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Development Working Papers 267, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  14. Pol Antr�s, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
  15. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 9300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  17. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/137536 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:569-600 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Fabrice Defever, . "Incomplete Contracts and the Impact of Globalization on Consumer Welfare," Discussion Papers 11/08, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  21. Lafontaine, Francine & Slade, Margaret, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries : The Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 799, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  22. Egger, Peter & Fahn, Matthias & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2014. "On the genesis of multinational foreign affiliate networks," Munich Reprints in Economics 20554, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  23. Arnaud Costinot & Lindsay Oldenski & James E. Rauch, 2009. "Adaptation and the Boundary of Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 14668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Barbara J. Spencer, 2005. "International Outsourcing and Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 11418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. Nunn, Nathan & Trefler, Daniel, 2013. "Incomplete contracts and the boundaries of the multinational firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 330-344.
  27. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  29. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2006. "Offshoring, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Structure of U.S. Trade," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 602-611, 04-05.
  30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:1:p:373-407 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1375-1418 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:94:y:2013:i:c:p:345-357. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.