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Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production

  • Elhanan Helpman
  • Gene M. Grossman

We develop a model in which the heterogeneous firms in an industry choose their modes of organization and the location of their subsidiaries or suppliers. We assume that the principals of a firm are constrained in the nature of the contracts they can write with suppliers or employees. Our main result concerns the sorting of firms with different productivity levels into different organizational forms. We use the model to examine the implications of falling trade costs for the relevant prevalence of outsourcing and foreign direct investment.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9403.

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Date of creation: Dec 2002
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9403
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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Papers 218, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Markusen, James R., 2001. "Contracts, intellectual property rights, and multinational investment in developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 189-204, February.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Gene M. Grossman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Horn, Henrik & Lang, Harald & Lundgren, Stefan, 1995. "Managerial effort incentives, X-inefficiency and international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 117-138, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 9723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David Hummels & Dana Rapoport & Kei-Mu Yi, 1998. "Vertical specialization and the changing nature of world trade," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 79-99.
  11. Ignatius Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1987. "Licensing versus Direct Investment: A Model of Internalization by the Multinational Enterprise," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(3), pages 464-81, August.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  13. Ethier, W.J. & Markusen, J.R., 1993. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," ISER Discussion Paper 0303, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  14. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  16. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The evolving external orientation of manufacturing: a profile of four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 53-81.
  17. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "The Multinational Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 805-33, November.
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