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Viewpoint: Empirical research on firms' boundaries

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  • Thomas N. Hubbard

Abstract

. Empirical research on the determinants of firms' boundaries has flourished over the past 25 years. This article discusses the progress that has been made to date, emphasizing the intellectual advances made by researchers in this literature during this period. I stress empirical researchers' important role in operationalizing theoretical concepts and relate how success on this dimension brings these concepts to bear on real‐life, make‐or‐buy decisions. I also discuss shortcomings in the current literature – in particular the paucity of research on how variation in firms' boundaries can affect economic outcomes – and point to how and where such shortcomings might be overcome. La recherche empirique sur les déterminants des frontières de l'entreprise a fleuri au cours des derniers 25 ans. Cet article discute des progrès accomplis en mettant l'accent sur les avancées intellectuelles faites par les chercheurs dans la littérature spécialisée durant cette période. On souligne le rôle important des chercheurs empiriques dans l'opérationnalisation des concepts théoriques, et on explique comment les succès dans ce registre ont contribuéà faire que ces concepts ont eu un impact sur les décisions de faire‐ou‐faire‐faire dans la vie réelle. On discute aussi des déficiences de cette littérature – en particulier la pauvreté des travaux de recherche sur l'impact de la variation dans les frontières des entreprises sur les rendements économiques – et on suggère comment de telles déficiences pourraient être corrigées.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas N. Hubbard, 2008. "Viewpoint: Empirical research on firms' boundaries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(2), pages 341-359, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:41:y:2008:i:2:p:341-359
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5982.2008.00466.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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