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Global Sourcing

  • Antras, 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. On the basis of 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. We then study the effects of within†sectoral heterogeneity and variations in industry characteristics on the relative prevalence of these organizational forms.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3196327.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3196327
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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2003. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," CEPR Discussion Papers 3737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  3. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2003. "Globalization and the Empowerment of Talent," Discussion Papers in Economics 268, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Pol Antràs, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
  6. Diego Puga & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 9121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert E. Lipsey & Magnus Blomstrom & Eric Ramstetter, 1995. "Internationalized Production in World Output," NBER Working Papers 5385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 460, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Antras, Pol, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," Scholarly Articles 3196328, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1846, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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.
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