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Global Sourcing

  • Antràs, Pol
  • Helpman, Elhanan

We present a North-South model of international trade in which differentiated products are developed in the North. Sectors are populated by final-good producers who differ in productivity levels. Based on productivity and sectoral characteristics, firms decide whether to integrate into the production of intermediate inputs or outsource them. In either case they have to decide from which country to source the inputs. Final-good producers and their suppliers must make relationship-specific investments, both in an integrated firm and in an arm’s-length relationship. We describe an equilibrium in which firms with different productivity levels choose different ownership structures and supplier locations, i.e., they choose different organizational forms. We then study the effects of within-sectoral heterogeneity and variations in industry characteristics on the relative prevalence of these organizational forms. The analysis sheds light on the structure of foreign trade within and across industries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4170.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4170
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dalia Marin & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," DELTA Working Papers 2003-32, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," NBER Working Papers 9945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:oup:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:1:p:115-38 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," Papers 2001-7, Tel Aviv.
  9. Diego Puga & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 9121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert E. Lipsey & Magnus Blomstrom & Eric D. Ramstetter, 1998. "Internationalized Production in World Output," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 83-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Working Papers 147, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  12. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
  13. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. repec:oup:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:1:p:57-82 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
  16. David L. Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  17. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  19. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  20. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
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