Creating Holdup through Vertical Integration: Fisher Body Revisited
AbstractGeneral Motors's (GM's) 1926 acquisition of Fisher Body has long served as a cornerstone of hold-up arguments for vertical integration. This paper utilizes primary historical evidence to make three related claims. First, it shows that GM's initial investment in Fisher Body occurred primarily to gain access to the Fisher brothers' specialized human assets. Second, it shows that holdup was not the cause of GM's purchase of Fisher Body. Instead, the primary factors leading to vertical integration were GM management's fears over the Fisher brothers' impending departure, coupled with problems of financing new body plants. Finally, I show that while holdup was not an issue prior to integration, the Fisher brothers successfully held up GM after they became employees. Far from reducing opportunistic behavior, vertical integration increased GM's vulnerability to rent-seeking behavior based in human asset specificity. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.
Volume (Year): 43 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Jonathan D. Levin, 2012.
"Vertical Integration and Market Structure,"
NBER Working Papers
17889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy Bresnahan & Jonathan Levin, 2012.
"Vertical Integration and Market Structure
[The Handbook of Organizational Economics]," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
- Timothy Bresnahan & Jonathan Levin, 2012. "Vertical Integration and Market Structure
- Ola Kvaløy & Trond E. Olsen, 2009.
"Endogenous Verifiability and Relational Contracting,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2193-2208, December.
- Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2004. "Endogenous Verifiability in Relational Contracting," Discussion Papers 2004/20, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
- Temin, Peter & Maxwell, James, 2003. "Corporate contracting for health care," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 403-420, November.
- Karine Fabre & Gwenaëlle Nogatchewsky & Anne Pezet, 2010. "Contribution à une histoire de l’externalisation:le cas Renault (1945-1975)," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 13(2), pages 145-188., June.
- David de Meza & Marianno Selvaggi, 2003. "Please Hold me Up: Why Firms Grant Exclusive Dealing Contracts," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/066, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Frank Mathewson & Ignatius J. Horstmann, 2004. "Coordination, Specialization and Incentives: An Equilibrium Model of Firm Boundaries," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 266, Econometric Society.
- Michael Dietrich & Jackie Krafft, 2011.
"Firm development as an integrated process: with evidence from the General Motors - Fisher Body case,"
- Michael Dietrich & Jackie Krafft, 2011. "Firm development as an integrated process: with evidence from the General Motors–Fisher Body case," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 665-686, October.
- Andreas Roider, 2006. "Fisher Body revisited: Supply contracts and vertical integration," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 181-196, September.
- Steele, Scott R., 2009. "Expanding the solution set: Organizational economics and agri-environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 398-405, December.
- Antonio Nicita & Simone Sepe, 2012. "Incomplete contracts and competition: another look at fisher body/general motors?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 495-514, December.
- Ugo Pagano, 2009. "Marrying in the Cathedral: a Framework for the Analysis of Corporate Governance," Department of Economics University of Siena 571, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00624280 is not listed on IDEAS
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.