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Quasi-integration in less-than-truckload trucking

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  • Alberto Fernández
  • Benito Arruñada

    ()

  • Manuel González

Abstract

This work studies the organization of less-than-truckload trucking from a contractual point of view. We show that the huge number of owner-operators working in the industry hides a much less fragmented reality. Most of those owner-operators are “quasi-integrated” in higher organizational structures. This hybrid form is generally more efficient than vertical integration because, in the Spanish institutional environment, it lessens serious moral hazard problems, related mainly to the use of the vehicles, and makes it possible to reach economies of scale and density. Empirical evidence suggests that what leads organizations to vertically integrate is not the presence of such economies but hold-up problems, related to the existence of specific assets. Finally, an international comparison hints that institutional constraints are able to explain differences in the evolution of vertical integration across countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 292.

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Date of creation: Jun 1998
Date of revision: Jul 2002
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:292

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Hold-up; hybrids; institutions; moral hazard; vertical integration; trucking industry;

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References

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  1. Peoples, James & Peteraf, Margaret, 1995. "Deregulation and the Competitive Fringe: Owner-Operators in the Trucking Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 27-42, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Blois, K J, 1972. "Vertical Quasi-Integration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 253-72, July.
  4. Monteverde, Kirk & Teece, David J, 1982. "Appropriable Rents and Quasi-Vertical Integration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 321-28, October.
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  10. Emerson, Michael, 1988. "Regulation or deregulation of the labour market : Policy regimes for the recruitment and dismissal of employees in the industrialised countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 775-817, April.
  11. Theodore E. Keeler., 1989. "Deregulation and Scale Economies in the U. S. Trucking Industry: An Econometric Extension of the Survivor Principle," Economics Working Papers 89-100, University of California at Berkeley.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  13. Allen, W Bruce & Liu, Dong, 1995. "Service Quality and Motor Carrier Costs: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 499-510, August.
  14. Bronars, Stephen G & Deere, Donald R, 1993. "Unionization, Incomplete Contracting, and Capital Investment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 117-32, January.
  15. Keeler, Theodore E, 1989. "Deregulation and Scale Economies in the U.S. Trucking Industry: An Econometric Extension of the Survivor Principle," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 229-53, October.
  16. Wang Chiang, S Judy & Friedlaender, Ann F, 1984. "Output Aggregation, Network Effects, and the Measurement of Trucking Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 267-76, May.
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