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Global Sourcing of a Complex Good

  • Van Biesebroeck, Johannes
  • Zhang, Lijun

We analyze a firm that produces a final good from multiple intermediates that can each be sourced domestically or from a low-wage country. The model explicitly incorporates that sourcing decisions of intermediates are interdependent. Equilibrium predictions depend crucially on a key modeling assumption--the nature of the trade friction that foreign production has to overcome. If production abroad involves a fixed cost, offshoring one intermediate unambiguously facilitates offshoring of other intermediates. However, if production abroad involves incomplete contracts, offshoring one intermediate almost always makes it more difficult to offshore others. We illustrate that the pattern in prices at which successive automotive parts are imported into the U.S. accords better with the predictions of the incomplete contracting model, except for a few countries with the best governance indicators.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8614.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8614
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 10198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," NBER Working Papers 14262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Lijun, 2011. "Global Sourcing of a Complex Good," CEPR Discussion Papers 8614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Alla Lileeva & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Outsourcing when Investments are Specific and Complementary," Working Papers tecipa-287, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Helpman, Elhanan, 2006. "Trade, FDI and the Organization of Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 5589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Audretsch, David B & Sanders, Mark & Zhang, Lu, 2012. "How Exports Matter: Trade Patterns over Development Stages," CEPR Discussion Papers 8815, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Bartel, Ann P & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2012. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," NBER Working Papers 18163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Baldwin, Richard & Venables, Anthony J., 2013. "Spiders and snakes: Offshoring and agglomeration in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 245-254.
  14. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogenous Prduct Cycles," Papers 144, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  16. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Working Papers 149, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  17. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2004. "An Assignment Theory of Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 11003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogemour Product Cycles," Papers 10-89, Tel Aviv.
  19. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  20. Schwarz, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2014. "Global sourcing of complex production processes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 123-139.
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  22. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Suedekum, Jens & Nowak, Verena & Schwarz, Christian, 2012. "On the Organizational Structure of Multinational Firms: Which Sourcing Mode for Which Input?," IZA Discussion Papers 6564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  27. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
  29. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
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  31. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
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