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Vertical Ownership and Export Performance: Firm-Level Evidence from the Food Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Carl Gaigné
  • Karine Latouche
  • Stéphane Turolla

Abstract

This article examines whether ownership arrangements between food firms and intermediaries improve the export performance of the former. We develop a theoretical model of trade with vertically-linked industries whereby upstream manufacturers compete in export markets and may decide to acquire ownership stakes in an intermediary. The model highlights how more productive firms succeed in managing the double marginalization problem and in reducing the costs of exporting through forward acquisition. The predictions from the model are tested using firm-level data on the French food industry. The results demonstrate that acquiring an intermediary lowers prices and distribution costs, and reveal that the benefits from forward acquisitions can be quite large. Conversely, we find that vertical ownership creates a market externality among manufacturers due to the reallocation of market shares from small firms to large firms, thereby forcing some low-productivity firms to exit foreign markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Gaigné & Karine Latouche & Stéphane Turolla, 2018. "Vertical Ownership and Export Performance: Firm-Level Evidence from the Food Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 100(1), pages 46-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:100:y:2018:i:1:p:46-72.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aax071
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