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Contracts and Technology Adoption

  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Antras, Pol
  • Helpman, Elhanan

We develop a tractable framework for the analysis of the relationship between contractual incompleteness, technological complementarities, and technology adoption. In our model, a firm chooses its technology and investment levels in contractible activities by suppliers of intermediate inputs. Suppliers then choose investments in noncontractible activities, anticipating payoffs from an ex post bargaining game. We show that greater contractual incompleteness leads to the adoption of less advanced technologies, and that the impact of contractual incompleteness is more pronounced when there is greater complementary among the intermediate inputs. We study a number of applications of the main framework and show that the mechanism proposed in the paper can generate sizable productivity differences across countries with different contracting institutions, and that differences in contracting institutions lead to endogenous comparative advantage differences.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3199063/antras_techadoption.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3199063.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3199063
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. " Information Accumulation in Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-38, March.
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  3. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  4. Catherine C. de Fontenay & Joshua S. Gans, 2003. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 448-455, March.
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  8. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  9. Morrison, Catherine J, 1992. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the United States, Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markups," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 381-93, August.
  10. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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  12. Yang, Xiaokai & Borland, Jeff, 1991. "A Microeconomic Mechanism for Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 460-82, June.
  13. Patrick Francois & Joanne Roberts, 2003. "Contracting Productivity Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 59-85.
  14. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Finance Matters," Macroeconomics 0502007, EconWPA.
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  16. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
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  18. Bénassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Is there always too little research in endogenous growth with expanding product variety ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9615, CEPREMAP.
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  20. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Glenn MacDonald, 2004. "Investor Protection, Optimal Incentives, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1131-1175, August.
  21. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  23. Ana Hidalgo & Andres Erosa, 2004. "On Capital Market Imperfections as an Origin of Low TFP and Economic Rents," 2004 Meeting Papers 16, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  25. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2001. "The Acceleration of Variety Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 274-280, May.
  26. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. J. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1997. "From Vendors to Partners: Information Technology and Incomplete Contracts in Buyer-Supplier Relationships," Working Paper Series 154, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
  28. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  29. Andres Erosa & Ana Hidalgo, 2005. "On Capital Market Imperfections as a Source of Low TFP and Economic Rents," Working Papers tecipa-200, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  30. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
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