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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 Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), University of Düsseldorf 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. Fabrice Defever & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Productivity and the Sourcing Modes of Multinational Firms: Evidence from French Firm-Level Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp0842, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 17627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Baldwin, Richard & Venables, Anthony J, 2010. "Spiders and Snakes: Offshoring and Agglomeration in the Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8163, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Antràs, Pol & Chor, Davin, 2012. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," CEPR Discussion Papers 9018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Lijun, 2014. "Interdependent product cycles for globally sourced intermediates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 143-156.
  12. 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.
  13. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2011. "Productivity, Relationship-Specific Inputs and the Sourcing Modes of Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 8656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Corcos, Gregory & Irac, Delphine & Mion, Giordano & Verdier, Thierry, 2009. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7530, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. 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.
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  18. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2010. "Intra-firm Trade and Product Contractibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 7927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Altomonte, Carlo & Rungi, Armando, 2013. "Business groups as hierarchies of firms: determinants of vertical integration and performance," Working Paper Series 1554, European Central Bank.
  22. Verena Nowak & Christian Schwarz & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "On the Organizational Structure of Multinational Firms - Which Sourcing Mode for which Input?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3823, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
  24. 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.
  25. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," NBER Working Papers 14262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Liza Jabbour, 2012. "‘Slicing the Value Chain’ Internationally: Empirical Evidence on the Offshoring Strategy by French Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(11), pages 1417-1447, November.
  27. 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.
  28. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
  29. Baldwin, Richard, 2009. "Integration of the North American economy and new-paradigm globalisation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  32. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
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