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Competitive Prices and Organizational Choices


  • Patrick Legros

    () (Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES) and CEPR)

  • Andrew F. Newman

    () (Boston University and CEPR)


We construct a price-theoretic model of integration decisions and show that these choices may adversely affect consumers, even in the absence of monopoly power in supply and product markets. Integration is costly to implement but is effective at coordinating production decisions. The price of output helps to determine the organizational form chosen: there is an inverted-U relation between the degree of integration and product prices. Moreover, organizational choices affect output: integration is more productive than non-integration at low prices, and less productive at high prices. Since shocks to industries affect product prices, reorganizations are likely to take place in coordinated fashion and be industry specific, consistent with the evidence. Since the price range in which integration maximizes productivity generally differs from the one in which it maximizes managerial welfare, organizational choices will often be second-best inefficient. We show that there are instances in which entry of low-cost suppliers can hurt consumers by changing the terms of trade in the supplier market, thereby inducing reorganizations that raise prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2008. "Competitive Prices and Organizational Choices," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-173, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-173

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1994. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9595, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Conconi, Paola & Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 2012. "Trade liberalization and organizational change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 197-208.
    9. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2005. "On the Design of Hierarchies: Coordination versus Specialization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 675-702, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bayo, Alberto & Galdon-Sanchez, Jose E. & Gil, Ricard, 2009. "The determinants of changes in the organization of production: Evidence from Spanish plant-level data," IESE Research Papers D/783, IESE Business School.
    2. Conconi, Paola & Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 2012. "Trade liberalization and organizational change," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 197-208.
    3. Galdon-Sanchez, Jose Enrique & Gil, Ricard & Bayo-Moriones, Alberto, 2015. "Outsourcing of peripheral services: Evidence from Spanish manufacturing plant-level data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 328-344.
    4. Bayo-Moriones, Alberto & Galdon-Sanchez, Jose Enrique & Gil, Ricard, 2013. "'Make-or-Buy' of Peripheral Services in Manufacturing: Evidence from Spanish Plant-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7138, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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