Abstract

How well does the theory of the firm explain the choice between intrafirm and arm's-length trade? This paper uses firm-level import data from France to look into this question. We find support for three key predictions of property rights theories of the multinational firm. Intrafirm imports are more likely in capital- and skill-intensive firms, in highly productive firms, and from countries with well-functioning judicial institutions. We bridge previous aggregate findings with our investigation by decomposing intrafirm imports into an extensive and intensive margin and uncover interesting patterns in the data that require further theoretical investigation.

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