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Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle

Pol Antras

Scholarly Articles from Harvard University Department of Economics

Abstract: I present a model in which the incomplete nature of contracts governing international transactions limits the extent to which the production process can be fragmented across borders. Because of contractual frictions, goods are initially manufactured in the same country where product development takes place. Only when the good becomes sufficiently standardized is the manufacturing stage of production shifted to a low-wage foreign location. Solving for the optimal organizational structure, I develop a new version of the product cycle hypothesis in which manufacturing is shifted abroad first within firm boundaries, and only at a later stage to independent foreign firms.

Date: 2005
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Published in American Economic Review

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Journal Article: Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle (2005) Downloads
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Working Paper: Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle (2003) Downloads
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