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Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Alfaro
  • Nick Bloom
  • Paola Conconi
  • Harald Fadinger
  • Patrick Legros
  • John Newman
  • Raffaella Sadun
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

Little is known theoretically, and even less empirically, about the relationship between firm boundaries and the allocation of decision rights within firms. We develop a model in which firms choose which suppliers to integrate and whether to delegate decisions to integrated suppliers. We test the predictions of the model using a novel dataset that combines measures of vertical integration and delegation for a large set of firms from many countries and industries. In line with the model’s predictions, we obtain three main results: (i) integration and delegation co-vary positively; (ii) producers are more likely to integrate suppliers in input sectors with greater productivity variation (as the option value of integration is greater); and (iii) producers are more likely to integrate suppliers of more important inputs and to delegate decisions to them.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Alfaro & Nick Bloom & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger & Patrick Legros & John Newman & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2018. "Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation," Working Papers ECARES 2018-11, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/270659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(12), pages 2859-2885, December.
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    4. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
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    7. Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger & Andrew F. Newman, 2016. "Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 855-888.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Frank Pisch & Claudia Steinwender, 2018. "Organizing Global Supply Chains: Input Cost Shares and Vertical Integration," NBER Working Papers 25286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Frank Pisch & Claudia Steinwender, 2018. "Organizing global supply chains: input-output linkages and vertical integration," CEP Discussion Papers dp1583, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vertical integration; delegation; real options; supply assurance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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