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Spiders and snakes offshoring and agglomeration in the global economy

作者: 点击数: 发布日期:2014-04-12

Global production sharing is determined byinternational cost differences and frictions related to the costs of unbundlingstages spatially. The interaction between these forces depends on engineering detailsof the production process with two extremes being ‘snakes’ and ‘spiders’. Snakes areprocesses whose sequencing is dictated by engineering; spiders involve theassembly of parts in no particular order. This paper studies spatial unbundlingas frictions fall, showing that outcomes are very different for snakes andspiders, even if they share some features. Both snakes and spiders have incommon a property that lower frictions produce discontinuous location changesand ‘overshooting’. Parts may move against their comparative costs because ofproximity benefits, and further reductions in frictions lead these parts to be ‘reshored’.Predictions for trade volumes and the number of fragmented stages are quitedifferent in the two cases. For spiders, a part crosses borders at most twice;the value of trade increases monotonically as frictions fall, except when theassembler relocates and the direction of parts trade is reversed. For snakesthe volume of trade and number of endogenously determined stages is boundedonly by the fragmentation of the underlying engineering process, and lowerfrictions monotonically increase trade volumes.


Spiders and snakes offshoring and agglomeration in the global economy.pdf



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