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Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium

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  • Gene Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We develop an equilibrium model of industrial structure in which the organization of firms is endogenous. Differentiated consumer products can be produced either by vertically integrated firms or by pairs of specialized companies. Production of each variety of consumer good requires a unique, specialized component. Vertically integrated firms can manufacture the components they need in the quantity and type that maximizes profits, but they face a relatively high cost due to diseconomies of scope. Specialized firms can produce at lower cost, but outsourcing imposes costs due to search frictions and imperfect contracting. We study the equilibrium mode of organization when inputs are fully or partially specialized. We consider how the degree of competition in the industry, the nature of the search technology, the division of bargaining strength between intermediate and final producers, and the sensitivity of manufacturing costs to input characteristics affect the equilibrium organizational form.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 460, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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, June.
    2. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 209-223.
    3. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "‘A Nation of Poets and Thinkers’ - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 77, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    4. Pol Antràs, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
    5. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
    6. Naghavi, Alireza & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2006. "Outsourcing, Contracts and Innovation Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 5681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Eric W. Bond, 2001. "Commercial Policy in a "Fragmented" World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 358-362, May.
    8. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Power Inside the Firm and the Market," Discussion Papers in Economics 10, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    9. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    10. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    11. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "'A Nation of Poets and Thinkers' - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," Discussion Papers in Economics 329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    12. EricW. Bond, 2008. "Input Quality, Relational Contracts And International Outsourcing," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 391-404, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies

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