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Asymmetric spiders: Supplier heterogeneity and the organization of firms

  • Nowak, Verena
  • Schwarz, Christian
  • Suedekum, Jens

We consider a property rights model of a firm with two heterogeneous suppliers. The headquarters determine the firm's organizational structure, and we analyze which sourcing mode (outsourcing or vertical integration) is chosen for which of the asymmetric inputs. If suppliers' investment choices are strategic complements, the firm may keep the technologically more important input inside its boundaries and outsource the less important supplier. The firm also tends to keep more sophisticated inputs in-house, while choosing an external supplier organization for simpler and for low-cost components. These theoretical predictions are consistent with numerous case studies and recent empirical evidence on the internal organization of firms.

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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 141.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:141
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  1. Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Lijun ZHANG, 2011. "Global sourcing of a complex good," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces11.26, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
  6. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, And Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418, November.
  7. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Development Working Papers 267, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Arnaud Costinot & Lindsay Oldenski & James Rauch, 2011. "Adaptation and the Boundary of Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 298-308, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Kohler, Wilhelm & Smolka, Marcel, 2014. "Global sourcing and firm selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 411-415.
  11. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2013. "Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 345-357.
  12. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2012. "The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEP Discussion Papers dp1119, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Christian Schwarz & Jens Suedekum, 2011. "Global Sourcing of Complex Production Processes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3559, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. 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.
  17. Sergiu Hart, 2006. "Shapley Value," Discussion Paper Series dp421, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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