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Global Sourcing

  • Pol Antras
  • Elhanan Helpman

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 diferent productivity levels choose diferent ownership structures and supplier locations, i. e. , they choose different organizational forms. We then study the efects 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 Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 2005.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2005
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  1. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of incomplete contracts," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19354, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. 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.
  4. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
  5. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Elhanan Helpman & Gene M. Grossman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan K. Taylor, 1993. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pol Antras, 2004. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 62, Econometric Society.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 209-223.
  12. 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.
  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  14. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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.
  16. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  17. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  19. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 460, CESifo Group Munich.
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