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Productivity and Firm Boundaries

Author

Listed:
  • Wilhelm Kohler
  • Marcel Smolka

Abstract

This paper develops and applies a test of the property rights theory of the firm in the context of global input sourcing. We use the model by Pol Antràs and Elhanan Helpman, “Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, 112:3 (2004), 552-80, to derive a new prediction regarding how the productivity of a firm affects its choice between vertical integration and outsourcing and how this effect depends on the relative input intensity of the production process. The prediction we derive hinges on less restrictive assumptions than industry-level predictions available in existing literature and survives in more realistic versions of the model featuring multiple suppliers and partial vertical integration. We present robust firm-level evidence from Spain showing that, in line with our prediction, the effect of productivity works more strongly in favor of vertical integration, and against outsourcing, in more headquarter-intensive industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2018. "Productivity and Firm Boundaries," CESifo Working Paper Series 7214, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7214
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7214.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wilhelm K. Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2012. "Global Sourcing: Evidence from Spanish Firm-Level Data," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Quantitative Analysis Of Newly Evolving Patterns Of International Trade Fragmentation, Offshoring of Activities, and Vertical Intra-Industry Trade, chapter 4, pages 139-193 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
    3. 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 1119-1158, December.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intrafirm Trade and Product Contractibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 444-448, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Emanuel Ornelas & John L. Turner, 2012. "Protection and International Sourcing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 26-63, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2013. "Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 345-357.
    9. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761.
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    11. Fernandes, Ana P. & Tang, Heiwai, 2012. "Determinants of vertical integration in export processing: Theory and evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 396-414.
    12. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Chapters, in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 18, pages 315-341, Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    24. repec:hrv:faseco:33077829 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Berlingieri, Giuseppe & Pisch, Frank & Steinwender, Claudia, 2018. "Organizing global supply chains: input costs shares and vertical integration," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91706, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Frank Pisch & Claudia Steinwender, 2018. "Organizing Global Supply Chains: Input-Output Linkages and Vertical Integration," CEP Discussion Papers dp1583, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    global sourcing; incomplete contracts; property rights theory; firm productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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