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Trade Liberalization and Organizational Change

  • Andrew F. Newman

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Boston University and CEPR)

  • Patrick Legros

    ()

    (Universite libre de Bruxelles (ECARES) and CEPR)

  • Paola Conconi

    (Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES) and CEPR)

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.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2011-037.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2011-037
Contact details of provider: Postal: 270 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-4389
Fax: 617-353-4449
Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/

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  1. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 1996. "Wealth effects, distribution, and the theory of organization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. 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.
  3. Daniel Trefler, 2001. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 8293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Guadalupe, Maria & Wulf, Julie, 2009. "The Flattening Firm and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 7253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Dalia Marin & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "Power Inside The Firm and The Market: A General Equilibrium Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 752-788, 06.
  6. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
  7. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew, 2000. "Competing for Ownership," CEPR Discussion Papers 2573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1987, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Emanuel Ornelas & John L. Turner, 2008. "Protection and international sourcing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28511, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2006. "Managerial Firms, Organizational Choice, and Consumer Welfare," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-059, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  11. Maria Guadalupe & Julie Wulf, 2010. "The Flattening Firm and Product Market Competition: The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Corporate Hierarchies," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 105-27, October.
  12. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
  13. Dalia Marin & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Globalization and the New Enterprise," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 337-344, 04/05.
  14. Andrew F. Newman & Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger, 2011. "Trade Policy and Firm Boundaries," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-035, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  17. Van den Steen, Eric, 2003. "Organizational Beliefs and Managerial Vision," Working papers 4224-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  18. Diego Puga & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Wake up and Smell the Ginseng: International Trade and the Rise of Incremental Innovation in Low-Wage Countries," Development Working Papers 222, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  19. 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.
  20. James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2005. "What determines productivity? lessons from the dramatic recovery of the U.S. and Canadian iron-ore industries following their early 1980s crisis," Staff Report 286, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
  22. Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2008. "Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and the hold-up problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 225-241, January.
  23. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 2010. "A Theory of Firm Scope," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 483-513, May.
  24. Antràs, Pol & Staiger, Robert, 2008. "Offshoring and the Role of Trade Agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 6966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Holger Breinlich, 2006. "Trade liberalization and industrial restructuring through mergers and acquisitions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19868, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  26. 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.
  27. repec:eca:wpaper:2013/96922 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  30. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  31. Mussa, Michael, 1974. "Tariffs and the Distribution of Income: The Importance of Factor Specificity, Substitutability, and Intensity in the Short and Long Run," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1191-1203, Nov.-Dec..
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