Effects of Adverse Selection on a Multinational Firm's Decision on Where to Subcontract
The present paper analyses the multinational firm's decision on where to subcontract in a context of asymmetric information. When a multinational firm (MNF) intends to subcontract the production of a good to a foreign firm, it faces an adverse selection problem. In fact, at the outset, foreign firms (agents) have an information advantage relative to the MNF with respect to their true production costs, which is not available to the MNF (principal). Methodologically, we adapt the general model of adverse selection to the particular case of the choice of the country on where to subcontract. We then compare the equilibrium obtained with the one which would occur in a context absent of adverse selection. Furthermore, we analyze the sensibility of the equilibrium and of a MNF's profits to changes in the parameters of the model. Since the subcontracting relationship is, generally, materialised through the accomplishment of a contract between the MNF and the foreign firm, the decision of the country on where to subcontract relates to the choice of the best contract, from the MNF's point of view, to offer to the foreign firm. Adverse selection modelling outcomes justify and are coherent with empirical evidence such as, the diversity of countries that MNFs subcontract and the fast production relocation between countries.
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