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Input Specificity and Global Sourcing

Author

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  • Galina A. Schwartz
  • Ari Van Assche

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of productivity on a firm's organizational choice. We expand Antràs and Helpman (2004) by allowing heterogeneous firms to choose between adopting specific and generic inputs. In input-intensive industries, firms face a trade-off between the lower productivity of generic inputs and the reduced hold-up friction of generic outsourcing. We demonstrate that the hold-up friction under generic outsourcing increases with a firm's productivity. This implies that: (i) high productivity firms choose ideal outsourcing to the South, (ii) medium productivity firms choose generic outsourcing to the South, (iii) low productivity firms choose generic outsourcing to the North. Cet article étudie le rôle de la productivité sur les choix organisationnels des entreprises. Nous élargissons l'étude d'Antràs et Helpman (2004) en permettant aux entreprises hétérogènes de choisir entre l'adoption d'intrants spécifiques ou génériques. Au sein des industries caractérisées par une forte utilisation d'intrants, les entreprises font face à un compromis entre une productivité réduite liée aux intrants génériques et un problème de hold-up moindre découlant de l'impartition générique. Nous démontrons que le problème de hold-up lié à l'impartition générique augmente selon la productivité d'une entreprise. Ce qui implique que : les entreprises dont le taux de productivité est élevé choisissent l'impartition optimale au Sud, (ii) les entreprises dont le taux de productivité est moyen choisissent l'impartition générique au Sud, (iii) les entreprises dont le taux de productivité est bas choisissent l'impartition générique au Nord.

Suggested Citation

  • Galina A. Schwartz & Ari Van Assche, 2006. "Input Specificity and Global Sourcing," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-02, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2006s-02
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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2006s-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    3. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2005. "Foreign outsourcing and firm-level characteristics: Evidence from Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-271, June.
    4. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600.
    5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Robert C. Feenstra & Barbara J. Spencer, 2005. "Contractual Versus Generic Outsourcing: The Role of Proximity," NBER Working Papers 11885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
    11. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    12. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ari Van Assche, 2006. "Modularity and the Organization of International Production," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-09, CIRANO.
    2. Van Assche, Ari, 2008. "Modularity and the organization of international production," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 353-368, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    input specificity; outsourcing; firm heterogeneity; incomplete contracts; hold-up problem; spécificité des intrants; impartition; hétérogénéité des entreprises; incomplétude des contrats; problèmes de hold-up.;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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