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Global firms

Information technologies and automation have exposed goods and services that were not previously traded to the forces of international competition through the building of global value chains.

We study why, how and which firms operate global value chains, relocating different stages of the production process and restructuring operations internationally by outsourcing and offshoring activities. For example, what role do differences in policy, such as those governing intellectual property, and in technologies play in determining whether firms operate affiliates or transact at arm's length in a country?

While these changes may have boosted overall productivity and incomes, they have also increased competition in occupations and tasks that were previously insulated from developments elsewhere in the world. What conditions determine which firms, workers and consumers benefit or lose from firms selling, buying, or producing in global markets where they become exposed to the forces of competition and to local technologies and institutions?

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