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Trade in Tasks and the Organization of Firms

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  • Marin, Dalia
  • Schymik, Jan
  • Tarasov, Alexander

Abstract

We incorporate trade in tasks à la Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2008) into a small open economy version of the theory of firm organization of Marin and Verdier (2012) to examine how offshoring affects the way firms organize. We show that the offshoring of production tasks leads firms to reorganize with a more decentralized management, improving the competitiveness of the offshoring firms. We show further that the offshoring of managerial tasks relaxes the constraint on managers but toughens competition, and thus has an ambiguous impact on the level of decentralized management and CEO wages of the offshoring firms. In sufficiently open economies, however, managerial offshoring unambiguously leads to more decentralized management and to larger CEO wages. We test the predictions of the model based on original firm level data we designed and collected of 660 Austrian and German multinational firms with 2200 subsidiaries in Eastern Europe. We find that offshoring firms are 33.4% more decentralized than non-offshoring firms. We find further that the average fraction of managers offshored reduces the level of decentralized management by 3.1%, but increases the level of decentralized management by 4% in industries with a level of openness above the 25th percentile of the openness distribution. Lastly, we find that one additional offshored manager lowers CEO wages relative to workers by 4.9%.

Suggested Citation

  • Marin, Dalia & Schymik, Jan & Tarasov, Alexander, 2014. "Trade in Tasks and the Organization of Firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 21741, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:21741
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    3. Hiller, Victor & Raffin, Natacha, 2020. "Firms’ social responsibility and workers’ motivation at the industry equilibrium," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 131-149.
    4. Boddin, Dominik & Henze, Philipp, 2015. "International trade and the occupational mix in manufacturing: Evidence from german micro data," Economics Working Papers 2015-05, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    5. Konstantin Koerner & Michael Moritz & Johannes Schäffler, 2022. "Foreign direct investment and onshore employment dynamics: Evidence from German firms with affiliates in the Czech Republic," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(6), pages 1773-1829, June.
    6. Anna Gumpert, 2018. "The Organization of Knowledge in Multinational Firms," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(6), pages 1929-1976.
    7. Beata Javorcik & Steven Poelhekke, 2017. "Former Foreign Affiliates: Cast Out and Outperformed?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 501-539.
    8. Schymik, Jan, 2013. "Trade, Technologies and the Talent Organization," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79922, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Beata Javorcik & Steven Poelhekke, 2017. "Former Foreign Affiliates: Cast Out and Outperformed?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 501-539.
    10. KODAMA Naomi & Beata S. JAVORCIK & ABE Yukiko, 2016. "Transplanting Corporate Culture across International Borders: FDI and female employment in Japan," Discussion papers 16015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Schymik, Jan, 2018. "Globalization and the evolution of corporate governance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 39-61.
    12. Schymik, Jan, 2017. "Earnings Inequality and the Global Division of Labor: Evidence from the Executive Labor Market," Discussion Papers in Economics 38385, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade with endogenous organizations; the rise of human capital; theory of the firm; multinational firms; CEO pay;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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