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Contract Incompleteness, Globalization and Vertical Structure: an Empirical Analysis

  • Luigi Pascali


    (Boston College)

This paper studies the effects of international openness and contracting institutions on vertical integration. It first derives a number of predictions regarding the interactions between trade barriers, contracting costs, technology intensity, and the extent of vertical integration from a simple model with incomplete contracts. Then it investigates these predictions using a new dataset of over 14000 firms from 45 developing countries. Consistent with theory, the effect of technology intensity of domestic producers on their likelihood to vertically integrate is decreasing in the quality of domestic contracting institutions and in international openness. Contract enforcing costs are particularly high in developing countries and their effects on the vertical structure of technological intensive firms may have significant welfare costs. If improving domestic contracting institutions is not feasible an equivalent solution is to increase openness to international trade. This would discipline domestic suppliers reducing the need for vertical integration.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 727.

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Date of creation: 23 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:727
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