Global Sourcing

33 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2003 Last revised: 21 Jul 2010

See all articles by Pol Antras

Pol Antras

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

We present a North South model of international trade in which differentiated products are developed in the North. Sectors are populated by final-good producers who differ in productivity levels. Based on productivity and sectoral characteristics, firms decide whether to integrate into the production of intermediate inputs or outsource them. In either case they have to decide from which country to source the inputs. Final-good producers and their suppliers must make relationship-specific investments, both in an integrated firm and in an arm's-length relationship. We describe an equilibrium in which firms with different productivity levels choose different ownership structures and supplier locations, i.e., they choose different organizational forms. We then study the effects of within-sectoral heterogeneity and variations in industry characteristics on the relative prevalence of these organizational forms. The analysis sheds light on the structure of foreign trade within and across industries.

Suggested Citation

Antras, Pol and Helpman, Elhanan, Global Sourcing (November 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w10082. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=467550

Pol Antras (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4690 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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