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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. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel & Su Wang, 2011. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," NBER Working Papers 16936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
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  14. 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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  16. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Productivity and the sourcing modes of multinational firms: evidence from French firm-level data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19655, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Acemoglu, Daron & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," Scholarly Articles 3199063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00860203, HAL.
  20. 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).
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  26. 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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  28. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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  30. Liza Jabbour, 2012. "‘Slicing the Value Chain’ Internationally: Empirical Evidence on the Offshoring Strategy by French Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(11), pages 1417-1447, November.
  31. Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Bi-sourcing in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 215-222, April.
  32. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. 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.
  34. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
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