IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Intra-Firm Trade and Product Contractibility (Long Version)


  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Stephen Redding
  • Peter K. Schott


This paper examines the determinants of intra-firm trade in U.S. imports using detailed countryproduct data. We create a new measure of product contractibility based on the degree of intermediation in international trade for the product. We find important roles for the interaction of country and product characteristics in determining intra-firm trade shares. Intra-firm trade is high for products with low levels of contractability sourced from countries with weak governance, for skillintensive products from skill-scarce countries, and for capital-intensive products from capitalabundant countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intra-Firm Trade and Product Contractibility (Long Version)," CEP Discussion Papers dp0978, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0978

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
    3. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Sunčica Vujić, 2011. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 463-484, May.
    4. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 15-28.
    5. Lindeboom, Maarten & Llena-Nozal, Ana & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2009. "Parental education and child health: Evidence from a schooling reform," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 109-131, January.
    6. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie, 2011. "Crime And Police Resources: The Street Crime Initiative," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 678-701, August.
    7. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1560-1577, December.
    8. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    9. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
    11. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
    12. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental education and child’s education : a natural experiment," Working Papers 200414, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    13. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    14. Orla Doyle & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 2007. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on Child Health. Further Evidence for England," Working Papers 200706, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    15. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-1286, December.
    16. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
    17. Isaac Ehrlich, 1975. "On the Relation between Education and Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Education, Income, and Human Behavior, pages 313-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    19. Ricardo Sabates & Leon Feinstein, 2008. "Effects of government initiatives on youth crime," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 462-483, July.
    20. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:idb:idbbks:6668 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. C. Duprez, 2014. "Creating export value. An analysis of Belgium," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue ii, pages 23-38, September.
    3. Goswami, Arti Grover, 2013. "Vertical FDI versus outsourcing: The role of technology transfer costs," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-21.
    4. Araujo, Luis & Mion, Giordano & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2016. "Institutions and export dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 2-20.
    5. Blyde, Juan & Molina, Danielken, 2015. "Logistic infrastructure and the international location of fragmented production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 319-332.
    6. Díez, Federico J., 2014. "The asymmetric effects of tariffs on intra-firm trade and offshoring decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 76-91.
    7. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 825-838, July.
    8. Aleksandar Zaklan, 2013. "Why Do Emitters Trade Carbon Permits?: Firm-Level Evidence from the European Emission Trading Scheme," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1275, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Wen-Bin Chuang & Hui-lin Lin & Chien-Wei Wu, 2015. "Does Institutional Quality Strengthen The Positive Influence of Offshore R&D Strategy on the Firm Productivity?," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(2), pages 279-294, February.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:92-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. García-Vega, María & Huergo, Elena, 2017. "Trust and technology transfers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 92-104.
    12. Canuto, Otaviano & Dutz, Mark & Reis, José Guilherme, 2010. "Technological Learning and Innovation: Climbing a Tall Ladder," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 21, pages 1-8, July.
    13. Basco, Sergi, 2013. "Financial development and the product cycle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 295-313.
    14. Juan S. Blyde, 2012. "Contracting Institutions and the Insertion of LAC in International Production Networks," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4035, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Carluccio, Juan & Bas, Maria, 2015. "The impact of worker bargaining power on the organization of global firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 162-181.
    16. Hayato Kato & Hirofumi Okoshi, 2017. "Production Location of Multinational Firms under Transfer Pricing: The Impact of the Arm's Length Principle," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2017-016, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    17. Antrà s, Pol & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2014. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    18. Del Prete, Davide & Rungi, Armando, 2017. "Organizing the global value chain: A firm-level test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 16-30.
    19. Juan S. Blyde & Christian Volpe Martincus & Danielken Molina, 2014. "Fábricas sincronizadas: América Latina y el Caribe en la era de las Cadenas Globales de Valor," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 86755 edited by Juan S. Blyde, February.
    20. Egger, Peter & Seidel, Tobias, 2013. "Corporate taxes and intra-firm trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 225-242.

    More about this item


    Related party trade; imports; contract theory; contractibility; intermedication; human capital; physical capital;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • 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
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0978. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.