IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10198.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm

Author

Listed:
  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Gordon H. Hanson

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a simple model of international outsourcing and apply it to processing trade in China. We observe China's processing exports broken down by who owns the plant and by who controls the inputs the plant processes. Multinational firms engaged in export processing in China tend to split factory ownership and input control with managers in China: the most common outcome is to have foreign factory ownership but Chinese control over input purchases. To account for this organizational arrangement, we appeal to a property-rights model of the firm. Multinational firms and the Chinese factory managers with whom they contract divide the surplus associated with export processing by Nash bargaining. Investments in input search, production, and marketing are partially relationship specific. In our benchmarks estimates, this relationship specificity is lowest in southern coastal provinces, where export markets are thickest, and highest in interior and northern provinces. The probability contracts are enforced has a similar pattern and is the lowest along the southern coast and the highest in the north.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10198
    Note: ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10198.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dalia Marin & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "Power Inside The Firm and The Market: A General Equilibrium Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 752-788, June.
    2. 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 1119-1158, December.
    3. Chu-Chia S. Lin & Ivan Png, 2003. "Monitoring costs and the mode of international investment," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 261-274, July.
    4. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2002. "Knowledge Creation and Control in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078.
    6. Ethier, Wilfred J. & Markusen, James R., 1996. "Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 1-28, August.
    7. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
    8. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    9. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Managerial incentives and the international organization of production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 237-262, July.
    10. Sylvie Démurger & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo & Shuming Bao & Gene Chang & Andrew Mellinger, 2002. "Geography, Economic Policy, and Regional Development in China," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 146-197.
    11. George Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2001. "Empirical Strategies in Contract Economics: Information and the Boundary of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 189-194, May.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    13. Barry Naughton, 1996. "China's Emergence and Prospects as a Trading Nation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 273-344.
    14. Rongzhu Ke & Weiying Zhang, 2003. "Trust in China: A Cross-Regional Analysis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-586, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    15. Robert C. Feenstra, 1999. "Discrepancies in International Data: An Application to China-Hong Kong Entrepot Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 338-343, May.
    16. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Intermediaries in Entrepot Trade: Hong Kong Re-Exports of Chinese Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 3-35, March.
    17. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2000. "Contractibility and Asset Ownership: On-Board Computers and Governance in U.S. Trucking," NBER Working Papers 7634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. repec:pri:wwseco:dp220 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    20. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    21. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
    22. Theodore Groves & Yongmiao Hong & John McMillan & Barry Naughton, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209.
    23. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
    24. Groves, Theodore & Yongmiao Hong & John McMillan & Barry Naughton, 1995. "China's Evolving Managerial Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 873-892, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10198. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.