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Vertical Integration and Operational Flexibility

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  • M. Moretto
  • G. Rossini

Abstract

The main aim of the paper is to highlight the relation between flexibility and vertical integration. To this purpose, we go through the selection of the optimal degree of vertical disintegration of a flexible firm which operates in a dynamic uncertain environment. The enterprise we model enjoys flexibility since it can switch from a certain amount of disintegration to vertical integration and viceversa. This means that the firm never loses vertical control, i.e., the ability to produce all inputs even when it buys them in the market. This sort of flexibility makes for results which are somehow contrary to the Industrial Organization recent literature and closer to the Operations Research results. In this sense we provide a bridge between the two approaches and rescue Industrial Organization from counterintuitive conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Moretto & G. Rossini, 2008. "Vertical Integration and Operational Flexibility," Working Papers 631, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:631
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Vertical Integration and Technology: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 989-1033, September.
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    5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
    6. Perry, Martin K., 1989. "Vertical integration: Determinants and effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 183-255 Elsevier.
    7. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    8. McLaren, John, 1999. "Supplier relations and the market context: A theory of handshakes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 121-138, June.
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    10. Joseph J. Spengler, 1950. "Vertical Integration and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 347-347.
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    13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2005. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: Finance, Contracts, and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    18. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Corato, Luca & Moretto, Michele, 2011. "Investing in biogas: Timing, technological choice and the value of flexibility from input mix," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1186-1193.
    2. Rossini Gianpaolo & Vergari Cecilia, 2011. "Input Production Joint Venture," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-50, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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