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Trade in Tasks and the Organization of Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Marin, Dalia
  • Schymik, Jan
  • Tarasov, Alexander

We incorporate trade in tasks à la Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2008) into a small open economy version of the theory of firm organization of Marin and Verdier (2012) to examine how offshoring affects the way firms organize. We show that the offshoring of production tasks leads firms to reorganize with a more decentralized management, improving the competitiveness of the offshoring firms. We show further that the offshoring of managerial tasks relaxes the constraint on managers but toughens competition, and thus has an ambiguous impact on the level of decentralized management and CEO wages of the offshoring firms. In sufficiently open economies, however, managerial offshoring unambiguously leads to more decentralized management and to larger CEO wages. We test the predictions of the model based on original firm level data we designed and collected of 660 Austrian and German multinational firms with 2200 subsidiaries in Eastern Europe. We find that offshoring firms are 33.4% more decentralized than non-offshoring firms. We find further that the average fraction of managers offshored reduces the level of decentralized management by 3.1%, but increases the level of decentralized management by 4% in industries with a level of openness above the 25th percentile of the openness distribution. Lastly, we find that one additional offshored manager lowers CEO wages relative to workers by 4.9%.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 10626.

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Date of creation: May 2015
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10626
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  1. Demidova, Svetlana & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2009. "Trade policy under firm-level heterogeneity in a small economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 100-112, June.
  2. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Corporate hierarchies and international trade: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 295-310.
  3. Dalia Marin, 2006. "A New International Division of Labor in Europe: Outsourcing and Offshoring to Eastern Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 612-622, 04-05.
  4. Robert C. Johnson & Guillermo Noguera, 2012. "Fragmentation and Trade in Value Added over Four Decades," NBER Working Papers 18186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fabbri, Francesca & Marin, Dalia, 2012. "What Explains the Rise in CEO Pay in Germany? A Panel Data Analysis for 1977-2009," CEPR Discussion Papers 8879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Dalia Marin, 2011. "The Opening Up of Eastern Europe at 20: Jobs, Skills and Reverse Maquiladoras in Austria and Germany," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume II, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  7. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, 04.
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