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Who Integrates?


  • Bühler, Stefan
  • Schmutzler, Armin


We examine vertical backward integration in oligopoly. Analysing a standard linear Cournot model, we find that for wide parameter ranges (i) some firms integrate, while others remain separated, and (ii) efficient firms are more likely to integrate vertically. Adopting a reduced-form approach, we identify a wholesale price effect and demand/mark-up complementarities as the driving forces for our results. We show that our results generalize beyond the Cournot example under fairly natural assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Who Integrates?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4066, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4066

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chen, Yongmin, 2001. "On Vertical Mergers and Their Competitive Effects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 667-685, Winter.
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    3. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    5. Zava Aydemir & Stefan Buehler, 2002. "Estimating Vertical Foreclosure in U.S. Gasoline Supply," SOI - Working Papers 0212, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    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. Bonanno, Giacomo & Vickers, John, 1988. "Vertical Separation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 257-265, March.
    8. Esther Gal-Or, 1990. "Excessive Retailing at the Bertrand Equilibria," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(2), pages 294-304, May.
    9. Abiru, Masahiro & Nahata, Babu & Raychaudhuri, Subhashis & Waterson, Michael, 1998. "Equilibrium structures in vertical oligopoly," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 463-480, December.
    10. Jansen, Jos, 2003. "Coexistence of strategic vertical separation and integration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 699-716, May.
    11. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-142, March.
    12. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Strategic Motives for Vertical Separation: Evidence from Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 84-113, April.
    13. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2003. "Downstream Investment in Oligopoly," SOI - Working Papers 0310, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "A unified approach to comparative statics puzzles in experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 212-223, January.
    2. Buehler Stefan & Schmutzler Armin, 2005. "Asymmetric Vertical Integration," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, January.
    3. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2003. "Downstream Investment in Oligopoly," SOI - Working Papers 0310, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    4. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Halbheer, Daniel, 2009. "Are there waves in merger activity after all?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 708-718, November.
    5. Simon Loertscher & Yves Schneider, 2005. "Switching Costs, Firm Size, and Market Structure," SOI - Working Papers 0508, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    6. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2004. "Globalization and General Worker Training," SOI - Working Papers 0403, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    7. Gianpaolo Rossini, 2008. "Competition and bargaining in vertical relationships with market uncertainty," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 55(3), pages 229-242, September.
    8. Boris Krey & Peter Zweifel, 2006. "Efficient Electricity Portfolios for Switzerland and the United States," SOI - Working Papers 0602, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    9. Michael Breuer, 2004. "Optimal Insurance Contracts without the Non-Negativity Constraint on Indemnities Revisited," SOI - Working Papers 0406, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    10. Harry Telser & Karolin Becker & Peter Zweifel, 2004. "Validity and Reliability of Willingness-to-Pay Estimates: Evidence from Two Overlapping Discrete-Choice Experiments," SOI - Working Papers 0412, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Mar 2008.
    11. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2005. "On The Role of Access Charges Under Network Competition," SOI - Working Papers 0501, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    12. Peter Zweifel & Harry Telser & Stephan Vaterlaus, 2005. "Consumer Resistance Against Regulation: The Case of Health Care," SOI - Working Papers 0505, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    13. Boes, Stefan & Lipp, Markus & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2007. "Money illusion under test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 332-337, March.
    14. G. Rossini, 2005. "Pitfalls in private and social incentives of vertical crossborder outsourcing," Working Papers 536, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    15. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "Ordered response models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 167-181, March.
    16. Peter Zweifel, 2005. "The Purpose and Limits of Social Health Insurance," SOI - Working Papers 0509, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Sep 2005.
    17. Rossini, Gianpaolo, 2005. "Outsourcing with labor management," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 455-466, December.
    18. Harry Telser & Peter Zweifel, 2003. "Validity of Discrete-Choice Experiments - Evidence for Health Risk Reduction," SOI - Working Papers 0313, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2005.
    19. Michael Breuer, 2004. "Deductible or Co-Insurance: Which is the Better Insurance Contract under Adverse Selection?," SOI - Working Papers 0401, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2004.

    More about this item


    efficiency; foreclosure; vertical integration; vertically-related oligopolies;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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