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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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7214
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/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: Robert M Stern (ed.), 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..
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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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.
    3. Liu, Mengxiao, 2021. "The missing option in firm boundary decisions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    global sourcing; incomplete contracts; property rights theory; firm productivity;
    All these keywords.

    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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