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Firm Reputation and Horizontal Integration

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  • Cai, Hongbin

Abstract

We study effects of horizontal integration on firm reputation. In an environment where customers observe only imperfect signals about firms' effort/quality choices, firms cannot maintain reputations of high quality and earn quality premium forever. Even when firms are choosing high quality/effort, there is always a possibility that a bad signal is observed. In this case, firms must give up their quality premium, at least temporarily, as punishment. A firm's integration decision is based on the extent to which integration attenuates this necessary cost of maintaining a good reputation. Horizontal integration leads to a larger market base for the merged firm and may allow better monitoring of the firm's choices, hence improving the punishment scheme for deviations. On the other hand, it gives the merged firm more room for sophisticated derivations. We characterize the optimal level of integration and provide sufficient conditions under which nonintegration dominates integration. We show that the optimal size of the firm is smaller when (1) trades are more frequent and information is disseminated more rapidly; or (2) the deviation gain is smaller than the honesty benefit; or (3) customer information about firm choices is more precise.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt6rk9f1fm.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt6rk9f1fm

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  1. Rafael Rob & Tadashi Sekiguchi, 2004. "Reputation and Turnover," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 394, David K. Levine.
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  8. Matsushima, Hitoshi, 2001. "Multimarket Contact, Imperfect Monitoring, and Implicit Collusion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 158-178, May.
  9. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2000. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," CARESS Working Papres sell-rep, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  10. Cabral, L.M.B., 2001. "Optimal Brand Umbrella Size," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 01-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  11. Hongbin Cai & Ichiro Obara, 2009. "Firm reputation and horizontal integration," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 340-363.
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  17. Kyle Bagwell, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000081, UCLA Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hakenes, Hendrik & Peitz, Martin, 2007. "Umbrella Branding and External Certification," CEPR Discussion Papers 6601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Fishman, Arthur & Finkelshtain, Israel & Simhon, Avi & Yacouel, Nira, 2008. "The Economics of Collective Brands," Discussion Papers 46056, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  3. Saak, Alexander, 2011. "Collective reputation, social norms, and participation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Hongbin Cai & Ichiro Obara, 2009. "Firm reputation and horizontal integration," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 340-363.
  5. Eric Rasmusen, 2011. "Leveraging of Reputation Through Umbrella Branding with and Without Market Power," Working Papers 2011-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  6. Cabral, Luís M.B., 2009. "Umbrella branding with imperfect observability and moral hazard," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 206-213, March.
  7. Fishman, Arthur, 2009. "Financial intermediaries as facilitators of information exchange between lenders and reputation formation by borrowers," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-305, March.
  8. Chao Yang & Liansheng Wu & Xianhui Bo, 2010. "Career Concern and Tax Preparer Fraud," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 11(2), pages 355-379, November.
  9. Kobayashi, Hajime & Ohta, Katsunori, 2012. "Optimal collusion under imperfect monitoring in multimarket contact," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 636-647.
  10. Saak, Alexander E., 2013. "Traceability and Reputation in Supply Chains," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149988, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Du, Chuang, 2012. "Solving payoff sets of perfect public equilibria: an example," MPRA Paper 38622, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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