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Global sourcing of complex production processes

  • Schwarz, Christian
  • Suedekum, Jens

We develop a theory of a firm in an incomplete contracts environment which decides on the complexity, the organization, and the global scale of its production process. Specifically, the firm decides i) how many intermediate inputs are simultaneously combined to a final product, ii) if the supplier of each input is an external contractor or an integrated affiliate, and iii) if that input is offshored to a foreign country. Our model leads to a rich set of predictions on the internal structure of multinational firms. In particular, it provides an explanation why many firms choose hybrid sourcing and have both outsourced and integrated suppliers.

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Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 125.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:125
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  1. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2006. "Offshoring, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Structure of U.S. Trade," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 602-611, 04-05.
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  9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intrafirm trade and product contractibility," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28616, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  11. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Productivity and the sourcing modes of multinational firms: evidence from French firm-level data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19655, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  13. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus Integration at Home or Abroad," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 742, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  14. Eiichi Tomiura, 2005. "Foreign Outsourcing, Exporting, and FDI: A Productivity Comparison at the Firm Level," Discussion Paper Series 168, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
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  17. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Helpman, Elhanan, 2006. "Trade, FDI and the Organization of Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 5589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. 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 1119-58, December.
  20. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
  21. Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban & Antras, Pol, 2009. "Organizations and Trade," Scholarly Articles 3199064, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2012. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," NBER Working Papers 18163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Bi-sourcing in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 215-222, April.
  24. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel & Su Wang, 2011. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," NBER Working Papers 16936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Richard Baldwin & Anthony Venables, 2010. "Spiders and snakes: offshoring and agglomeration in the global economy," NBER Working Papers 16611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton, 2007. "Intra-Industry Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 13447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Carlo Altomonte & Armando Rungi, 2013. "Business Groups as Hierarchies of Firms: Determinants of Vertical Integration and Performance," Working Papers 2013.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  28. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  29. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
  30. Suedekum, Jens & Nowak, Verena & Schwarz, Christian, 2012. "On the Organizational Structure of Multinational Firms: Which Sourcing Mode for Which Input?," IZA Discussion Papers 6564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00860203, HAL.
  32. José C. Fariñas & Ana Martín-Marcos, 2010. "Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 482-506, 03.
  33. 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.
  34. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  35. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
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