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Efficient organization of production: Nested versus horizontal outsourcing

  • Shy, Oz
  • Stenbacka, Rune
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We characterize equilibrium and efficient modes of production by comparing nested (vertical) outsourcing with horizontal outsourcing. Nested outsourcing is found to be inefficient unless the cost of monitoring outsourced production lines increases sharply with the number of subcontractors and not only with the number of outsourced components. We characterize a market failure in which nested outsourcing is the market outcome even though horizontal outsourcing is the efficient outsourcing mode. This failure occurs at an intermediate range of the costs of monitoring outsourcing to several subcontractors.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016517651200331X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 116 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 593-596

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:116:y:2012:i:3:p:593-596
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Nickerson, Jack A. & Vanden Bergh, Richard, 1999. "Economizing in a context of strategizing: governance mode choice in Cournot competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-15, September.
  2. Chaim Fershtman & Ehud Kalai, 1993. "Complexity Considerations and Market Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 224-235, Summer.
  3. Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2005. "Partial outsourcing, monitoring cost, and market structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1173-1190, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2003. "Strategic outsourcing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 203-224, February.
  6. 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.
  7. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 1996. "Wealth effects, distribution, and the theory of organization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Anil Arya & Brian Mittendorf & David E. M. Sappington, 2008. "The Make-or-Buy Decision in the Presence of a Rival: Strategic Outsourcing to a Common Supplier," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(10), pages 1747-1758, October.
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