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Vertical Integration and Operational Flexibility

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Author Info

  • Michele Moretto

    (University of Padova)

  • Gianpaolo Rossini

    (University of Bologna)

Abstract

The main aim of the paper is to highlight the relation between flexibility and vertical integration. To this purpose, we go through the selection of the optimal degree of vertical disintegration of a flexible firm which operates in a dynamic uncertain environment. The enterprise we model enjoys flexibility since it can switch from a certain amount of disintegration to vertical integration and viceversa. This means that the firm never loses vertical control, i.e., the ability to produce all inputs even when it buys them in the market. This sort of flexibility makes for results which are somehow contrary to the Industrial Organization recent literature and closer to the Operations Research results. In this sense we provide a bridge between the two approaches and rescue Industrial Organization from counterintuitive conclusions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2008.37.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.37

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Keywords: Vertical Integration; Outsourcing; Entry; Flexibility;

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References

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  1. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. McLaren, J, 1996. "Supplier Relations and the Market Context : A Theory of Handshakes," Papers 766, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 93-114, Fall.
  4. Jan A. Van Mieghem, 1999. "Coordinating Investment, Production, and Subcontracting," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(7), pages 954-971, July.
  5. Armour, Henry Ogden & Teece, David J, 1980. "Vertical Integration and Technological Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 470-74, August.
  6. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
  7. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Vertical Integration and Technology: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 989-1033, 09.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2005. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: Finance, Contracts, and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm As A Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory Of The Origins And Growth Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851, August.
  12. Perry, Martin K., 1989. "Vertical integration: Determinants and effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 183-255 Elsevier.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  14. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  15. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
  16. Joseph J. Spengler, 1950. "Vertical Integration and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 347.
  17. Williamson, Oliver E, 1971. "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 112-23, May.
  18. Alvarez, Luis H.R. & Stenbacka, Rune, 2007. "Partial outsourcing: A real options perspective," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 91-102, February.
  19. McLaren, J., 1996. "'Globalization' and Vertical Structure," Discussion Papers 1996_21, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Rossini Gianpaolo & Vergari Cecilia, 2011. "Input Production Joint Venture," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-50, March.
  2. Di Corato, Luca & Moretto, Michele, 2011. "Investing in biogas: Timing, technological choice and the value of flexibility from input mix," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1186-1193.

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