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Trade Policy Uncertainty and the Structure of Supply Chains


  • Peter Schott

    (Yale School of Management)

  • Justin Pierce

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserv)

  • Georg Schaur

    (University of Tennessee)

  • Sebastian Heise

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)


We model the impact of changes in trade policy uncertainty on supply chains and show that a reduction in the probability of a trade war can foster the adoption of “Japanese”-style procurement practices, in which domestic buyers ensure the provision of high-quality inputs from foreign suppliers via long-term, just-in-time relationships. Empirically, we first show that the model provides a useful framework for analyzing shipments between U.S. importers and foreign exporters, and then demonstrate that a change in U.S. trade policy that eliminated the possibility of substantial increases in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods coincides with a shift towards “Japanese” procurement. Our estimated general equilibrium model shows that the shift led to substantial U.S. welfare gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Schott & Justin Pierce & Georg Schaur & Sebastian Heise, 2017. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and the Structure of Supply Chains," 2017 Meeting Papers 788, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:788

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joaquin Blaum & Claire LeLarge & Michael Peters, 2015. "The Gains from Input Trade in Firm-Based Models of Importing," NBER Working Papers 21504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nitya Pandalai Nayar & Aaron Flaaen & Christoph Boehm, 2016. "Multinationals, Offshoring and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing," 2016 Meeting Papers 584, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Joaquin Blaum & Claire Lelarge & Michael Peters, 2018. "The Gains from Input Trade with Heterogeneous Importers," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 77-127, October.
    4. Richard Baldwin & Javier Lopez-Gonzalez, 2015. "Supply-chain Trade: A Portrait of Global Patterns and Several Testable Hypotheses," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(11), pages 1682-1721, November.
    5. Boehm, Christoph E. & Flaaen, Aaron & Pandalai-Nayar, Nitya, 2020. "Multinationals, Offshoring, and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    6. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 729-761.
    7. Fariha Kamal & Ryan Monarch, 2018. "Identifying foreign suppliers in U.S. import data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 117-139, February.
    8. Cristea, Anca D., 2011. "Buyer-seller relationships in international trade: Evidence from U.S. States' exports and business-class travel," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 207-220, July.
    9. Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr & Ryan Monarch, 2015. "Learning and the Value of Relationships in International Trade," 2015 Meeting Papers 668, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pisch, Frank, 2020. "Managing Global Production: Theory and Evidence from Just-in-Time Supply Chains," Economics Working Paper Series 2008, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised Aug 2020.
    2. Cajal-Grossi, Julia & Macchiavello, Rocco & Noguera, Guillermo, 2019. "International buyers' sourcing and suppliers markups in Bangladeshi garments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102612, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Bickwit, Grant & Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2018. "Preferential trade agreements and global sourcing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91704, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Grant Bickwit & Emanuel Ornelas & John L. Turner, 2018. "Preferential Trade Agreements and Global Sourcing," CEP Discussion Papers dp1581, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Yi Che & Yi Lu & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott & Zhigang Tao, 2016. "Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?," NBER Working Papers 22178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gervais, Antoine, 2020. "Global Sourcing under Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 102285, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Adam Jakubik & Victor Stolzenburg, 2020. "Footloose Global Value Chains: How Trade Costs Make a Difference," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 57(2), pages 245-261, September.
    8. Xiaoping Chen, 2019. "The future of free trade agreements: a Singapore perspective," International Journal of Economic Policy Studies, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 259-271, January.

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