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Determinants of organizational form: transaction costs and institutions in the European trucking industry

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  • Benito Arruñada
  • Manuel González-Díaz
  • Alberto Fernández

Abstract

We explain why European trucking carriers are much smaller and rely more heavily on owner-operators (as opposed to employee drivers) than their US counterparts. Our analysis begins by ruling out differences in technology as the source of those disparities and confirms that standard hypotheses in organizational economics, which have been shown to explain the choice of organizational form in US industry, also apply in Europe. We then argue that the preference for subcontracting over vertical integration in Europe is the result of European institutions--particularly, labor regulation and tax laws--that increase the costs of vertical integration. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 867-882

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:13:y:2004:i:6:p:867-882

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References

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  1. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
  2. Francine Lafontaine & Joanne E. Oxley, 2004. "International Franchising Practices in Mexico: Do Franchisors Customize Their Contracts?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 95-123, 03.
  3. Bronars, Stephen G & Deere, Donald R, 1993. "Unionization, Incomplete Contracting, and Capital Investment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 117-32, January.
  4. Pirrong, Stephen Craig, 1993. "Contracting Practices in Bulk Shipping Markets: A Transactions Cost Explanation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 937-76, October.
  5. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  6. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  7. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2000. "Contractibility and Asset Ownership: On-Board Computers and Governance in U.S. Trucking," NBER Working Papers 7634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blau, David M, 1987. "A Time-Series Analysis of Self-employment in the United State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 445-67, June.
  9. Jack A. Nickerson & Brian S. Silverman, 2003. "Why aren't all Truck Drivers Owner-Operators? Asset Ownership and the Employment Relation in Interstate for-hire Trucking," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 91-118, 03.
  10. Hubbard, Thomas N, 2001. "Contractual Form and Market Thickness in Trucking," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 369-86, Summer.
  11. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1997. "Jobless Growth: Appropriability, Factor Substitution, and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 6221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  13. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  14. Francine Lafontaine & Scott E. Masten, 2002. "Contracting in the Absence of Specific Investments and Moral Hazard: Understanding Carrier-Driver Relations in U.S. Trucking," NBER Working Papers 8859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2003. "Make Versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 551-572, June.
  16. Masten, Scott E & Meehan, James W, Jr & Snyder, Edward A, 1991. "The Costs of Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
  17. Thomas N. Hubbard, 2000. "The Demand For Monitoring Technologies: The Case Of Trucking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 533-560, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Josef Windsperger & Maria Jell, 2005. "Structuring residual income and decision rights under internal governance: results from the Hungarian trucking industry," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(5), pages 295-305.
  2. Benito Arruñada & Luis Vázquez & Giorgio Zanarone, 1999. "Institutional constraints on organizations: The case of Spanish car dealerships," Economics Working Papers 348, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2007.
  3. Hu, Y. & Huang, Z. & Hendrikse, G.W.J. & Xu, X., 2005. "Organization and Strategy of Farmer Specialized Cooperatives in China," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-059-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00582556 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00582556 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Marta Fernández-Olmos & Jorge Rosell-Mart�nez & Manuel A. Espitia-Escuer, 2009. "Vertical integration in the wine industry: a transaction costs analysis on the Rioja DOCa," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 231-250.
  7. Francine Lafontaine & Laura Malaguzzi Valeri, 2009. "The deregulation of international trucking in the European Union: form and effect," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 19-44, February.

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