Specialization, Firms, and Markets: The Division of Labor within and between Law Firms
AbstractThis article uses confidential microdata from the Census of Services to examine law firms' field boundaries. We find that the share of lawyers working in field-specialized firms increases as market size increases and lawyers field specialize, indicating that transaction costs among lawyers, and not just complementarities in clients' demands, affect law firms' field boundaries. Moreover, we find that this pattern is mainly true when looking at fields where lawyers are involved in dispute resolution rather than in structuring transactions. We then analyze which combinations of specialists tend to work in the same firm and which tend not to do so. We relate our results to theories of law firms' boundaries from the organizational economics literature. Our evidence leads us to eliminate risk sharing as an important determinant of firms' field boundaries and narrows the set of possible monitoring or knowledge sharing explanations. (JEL D23, J44, L14, L84) The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.
Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Garicano, Luis & Hubbard, Thomas N., 2012. "Learning about the nature of production from equilibrium assignment patterns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 136-153.
- Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "Insider Econometrics: Empirical Studies of How Management Matters," NBER Working Papers 15618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel H. Weinberg, 2013. "Talent Recruitment and Firm Performance: The Business of Major League Sports," Working Papers 13-54, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Fabio Landini & Antonio Nicolò & Marco Piovesan, 2013. "The Hidden Cost of Specialization," IFRO Working Paper 2013/9, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
- Valerie Smeets & Michael Waldman & Frederic Warzynski, 2013. "Performance, Career Dynamics, and Span of Control," Economics Working Papers 2013-02, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.