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Global Sourcing of Complex Production Processes

  • Christian Schwarz
  • Jens Suedekum

We develop a theory of a firm in an incomplete contracts environment which decides on its complexity, organization, and global scale. Specifically, the firm decides i) how thinly it wants to slice its production process by choosing the mass of symmetric intermediate inputs that are simultaneously combined to a final product, ii) if the supplier of each component is an external contractor or an integrated affiliate, and iii) if that component is offshored to a foreign country. We also consider the case of asymmetric inputs. Our model leads to a rich set of novel predictions about the structure of multinational firms that are consistent with stylized facts from the recent empirical literature.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3559.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3559
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  1. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Lijun, 2014. "Interdependent product cycles for globally sourced intermediates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 143-156.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2013. "Intra-Firm Trade And Product Contractibility," Working Papers 13-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. 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.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," Scholarly Articles 3199063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  9. Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban & Antras, Pol, 2009. "Organizations and Trade," Scholarly Articles 3199064, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. José C. Fariñas & Ana Martín-Marcos, 2010. "Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 482-506, 03.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 10198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
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  27. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Suedekum, Jens & Nowak, Verena & Schwarz, Christian, 2012. "On the Organizational Structure of Multinational Firms: Which Sourcing Mode for Which Input?," IZA Discussion Papers 6564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  29. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  30. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
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  34. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus Integration at Home or Abroad," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 742, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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