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Incomplete Contracts and Industrial Organization

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  • Grossman, Gene
  • Helpman, Elhanan

Abstract

We develop an equilibrium model of industrial structure in which the organization of firms is endogenous. Differentiated consumer products can be produced either by vertically integrated firms or by pairs of specialized companies. Production of each variety of consumer good requires a unique, specialized component. Vertically integrated firms can manufacture the components they need in the quantity and type that maximizes profits, but they face a relatively high cost of governance. Specialized firms can produce at lower cost, but input suppliers face a potential hold-up problem. We study the equilibrium mode of organization when inputs are fully or partially specialized. We consider how the degree of competition in the market and other parameters affect the equilibrium choices, and how the equilibrium compares with the efficient allocation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2280.

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Date of creation: Nov 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2280

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Related research

Keywords: Hold-Up Problem; Input Specificity; Vertical Integration;

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References

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  1. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Riordan, Michael H. & Williamson, Oliver E., 1985. "Asset specificity and economic organization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 365-378, December.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  5. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  7. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
  9. Yeats, Alexander J., 1998. "Just how big is global production sharing?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1871, The World Bank.
  10. 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.
  11. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  12. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114, January.
  14. David Hummels & Dana Rapoport & Kei-Mu Yi, 1998. "Vertical specialization and the changing nature of world trade," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 79-99.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Valeria Gattai, 2006. "From the Theory of the Firm to FDI and Internalisation: A Survey," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 65(2), pages 225-262, November.
  2. Turrini, Alessandro Antonio & Urban, Dieter M, 2001. "For Whom is MAI? A Theoretical Perspective on Multilateral Agreements on Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2774, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2003. "Strategic outsourcing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 203-224, February.
  4. Walter Elberfeld & Georg Götz, 2002. "Market Size, Technology Choice, and Market Structure," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 25-41, 02.
  5. Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego, 2001. "Sources of economic renewal: from the traditional firm to the knowledge firm," Working Paper Series 0043, European Central Bank.
  6. Yijiang Wang, . "Product Market Conditions and Job Design," Working Papers 0402, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).

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