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Vertical cross-shareholding: Theory and experimental evidence

  • Guth, Werner
  • Nikiforakis, Nikos
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

This paper analyses vertical cross-shareholding, that is, the mutual holding of a minority of shares between vertically related firms. We investigate the conditions under which cross-shareholding improves efficiency. First, we explore the issue in a game-theoretic model and find that cross-shareholding is sufficient to obtain the first-best solution. We then proceed by testing these predictions experimentally. Our findings are that the theory predicts the sellers' decisions accurately and to some extent the price of the buyers. Cross-shareholding appears to occur more frequently than predicted and it enhances efficiency even where not predicted.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 69-89

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:25:y:2007:i:1:p:69-89
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  1. Guido Pepermans & Bert Willems, 2005. "The potential impact of cross-ownership in transmission: An application to the Belgian electricity market," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0501, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  2. Elliott, Steven R. & Godby, Robert & Kruse, Jamie Brown, 2003. "An experimental examination of vertical control and cost predation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 253-281, February.
  3. Malueg, David A., 1992. "Collusive behavior and partial ownership of rivals," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 27-34, March.
  4. Flath, David, 1989. "Vertical integration by means of shareholding interlocks," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 369-380.
  5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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  7. Dietzenbacher, Erik & Smid, Bert & Volkerink, Bjorn, 2000. "Horizontal integration in the Dutch financial sector," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 1223-1242, December.
  8. Reitman, David, 1994. "Partial Ownership Arrangements and the Potential for Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 313-22, September.
  9. Martin, Stephen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Snyder, Christopher M, 2001. "Vertical Foreclosure in Experimental Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 466-96, Autumn.
  10. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
  11. Reynolds, Robert J. & Snapp, Bruce R., 1986. "The competitive effects of partial equity interests and joint ventures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 141-153, June.
  12. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Asset Ownership and Market Structure in Oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
  13. Rick Harbaugh, 2001. "Equity Stakes and Hold-up Problems," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-31, Claremont Colleges.
  14. Durham, Yvonne, 2000. "An experimental examination of double marginalization and vertical relationships," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 207-229, June.
  15. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
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