Divided we Stand, United we Fall: Asset Specificity and Vertical Integration Reconsidered
AbstractRecent surveys and casual observation suggest that higher levels of asset specificity need not always lead to vertical integration, as traditionally stressed by transaction-cost economics. This paper uncovers some of the factors driving firms to (sometimes) choose to remain separated in the presence of high specificity. It shows that in a world where outside options matter and investments are multidimensional, high asset specificity can foster nonintegration: a low level of specificity provides the most misdirected incentives when transacting in a market (because the outside option of external trade becomes so tempting), thus making a stronger case for nonintegration.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.
Volume (Year): 168 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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Web page: http://www.mohr.de/jite
Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
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- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
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