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Vertical Integration and Input Flows

Author

Listed:
  • Enghin Atalay
  • Ali Horta?su
  • Chad Syverson

Abstract

We use broad-based yet detailed data from the economy's goods-producing sectors to investigate firms' ownership of production chains. It does not appear that vertical ownership is primarily used to facilitate transfers of goods along the production chain, as is often presumed: roughly one-half of upstream establishments report no shipments to downstream establishments within the same firm. We propose an alternative explanation for vertical ownership, namely that it promotes efficient intrafirm transfers of intangible inputs. We show evidence consistent with this hypothesis, including the fact that, after a change of ownership, an acquired establishment begins to resemble the acquiring firm along multiple dimensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Enghin Atalay & Ali Horta?su & Chad Syverson, 2014. "Vertical Integration and Input Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1120-1148, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:4:p:1120-48
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.4.1120
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mullin, Joseph C & Mullin, Wallace P, 1997. "United States Steel's Acquisition of the Great Northern Ore Properties: Vertical Foreclosure or Efficient Contractual Governance?," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 74-100, April.
    2. Muris, Timothy J & Scheffman, David T & Spiller, Pablo T, 1992. "Strategy and Transaction Costs: The Organization of Distribution in the Carbonated Soft Drink Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 83-128, Spring.
    3. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
    4. Woodruff, Christopher, 2002. "Non-contractible investments and vertical integration in the Mexican footwear industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1197-1224, October.
    5. Justine S. Hastings & Richard J. Gilbert, 2005. "MARKET POWER, VERTICAL INTEGRATION AND THE WHOLESALE PRICE OF GASOLINE -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 469-492, December.
    6. Joskow, Paul L, 1985. "Vertical Integration and Long-term Contracts: The Case of Coal-burning Electric Generating Plants," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 33-80, Spring.
    7. Lieberman, Marvin B, 1991. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: An Empirical Test," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 451-466, September.
    8. Masten, Scott E. & Meehan, James Jr. & Snyder, Edward A., 1989. "Vertical integration in the U.S. auto industry : A note on the influence of transaction specific assets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 265-273, October.
    9. Sang V Nguyen, 1998. "The Manufacturing Plant Ownership Change Database: Its Construction And Usefulness," Working Papers 98-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Masten, Scott E, 1984. "The Organization of Production: Evidence from the Aerospace Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 403-417, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management

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