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Institutional constraints on organizations: the case of Spanish car dealerships

Author

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  • Benito Arruñada

    (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain)

  • Luis Vázquez

    (University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)

  • Giorgio Zanarone

    (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract

We study the effect of organizational choice and institutions on the performance of Spanish car dealerships. Using outlet-level data from 1994, we find that vertically integrated dealerships showed substantially lower labor productivity, higher labor costs and lower profitability than franchised ones. Despite these gaps in performance, no vertically integrated outlet was separated until 1994, yet the few outlets that were eventually separated systematically improved their performance. We argue that the conversion of integrated outlets into franchised ones involved significant transaction costs, due to an institutional environment favoring permanent, highly unionized employment relations. In line with this argument, we find that the observed separations occurred in distribution networks that underwent marked reductions in worker unionization rates, following the legalization of temporary labor contracts. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Benito Arruñada & Luis Vázquez & Giorgio Zanarone, 2009. "Institutional constraints on organizations: the case of Spanish car dealerships," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 15-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:30:y:2009:i:1:p:15-26
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10657-015-9497-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Francine Lafontaine & Fiona Scott Morton, 2010. "Markets: State Franchise Laws, Dealer Terminations, and the Auto Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 233-250, Summer.
    3. Muriel Fadairo & Cintya Lanchimba Lopez, 2012. "Performance in distribution systems : What is the influence of the upstream firm’s organizational choices ?," Working Papers 1224, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    4. Muriel Fadairo & Cintya Lanchimba, 2012. "Performance in distribution systems : What is the influence of the upstream firm's organizational choices ?," Working Papers halshs-00727382, HAL.
    5. González, Eduardo & Cárcaba, Ana & Ventura, Juan, 2015. "How car dealers adjust prices to reach the product efficiency frontier in the Spanish automobile market," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 38-48.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1928-:d:116275 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • 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
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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