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Productivity and the Sourcing Modes of Multinational Firms: Evidence from French Firm-Level Data

  • Fabrice Defever
  • Farid Toubal

We investigate the role of a firm's total factor productivity in its decision to import from their affiliates rather than from independent input suppliers. We propose a slightly modified version of the Antràs and Helpman (2004) model. We assume higher fixed costs under outsourcing and a firm-specific production function. We use detailed French firm-level data that provides a geographical breakdown of French firms' import at product level and their sourcing modes in 1999. We find strong empirical support for the theoretical predictions of the model. In particular, high-productivity firms that have a production process intensive in suppliers' inputs source their inputs through independent foreign suppliers.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0842.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0842
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
  2. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 9300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Lu�s M B Cabral & Jos� Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  5. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Relationship Specificity, Incomplete Contracts and the Pattern of Trade," International Trade 0512018, EconWPA.
  6. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," NBER Working Papers 12091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  8. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
  9. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
  10. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  11. Eiichi Tomiura, 2004. "Foreign outsourcing and firm-level characteristics: evidence from Japanese manufacturers," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-64, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  12. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
  13. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. S. Raspiller & P. Sillard, 2004. "Affiliating versus Subcontracting: the Case of Multinationals," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2004-09, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  15. Porter, Michael E, 1974. "Consumer Behavior, Retailer Power and Market Performance in Consumer Goods Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(4), pages 419-36, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  18. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
  19. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
  20. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  21. Pol Antr�s, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
  22. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  24. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
  25. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. 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.
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