IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

Business groups as hierarchies of firms: determinants of vertical integration and performance

  • Altomonte, Carlo
  • Rungi, Armando

We explore the nature of Business Groups, that is network-like forms of hierarchical organization between legally autonomous …rms spanning both within and across national borders. Exploiting a unique dataset of 270,474 headquarters controlling more than 1,500,000 (domestic and foreign) a¢ liates in all countries worldwide, we …nd that business groups account for a signi…cant part of value-added generation in both developed and developing countries, with a prevalence in the lat- ter. In order to characterize their boundaries, we distinguish between an a¢ liate vs. a group-level index of vertical integration, as well as an entropy-like metric able to summarize the hierarchical complexity of a group and its trade-o¤ between exploitation of knowledge as an input across the hierarchy and the associated communication costs. We relate these metrics to host country institu- tional characteristics, as well as to the performance of a¢ liates across business groups. Conditional on institutional quality, a negative correlation exists between vertical integration and hierarchical complexity in de…ning the boundaries of business groups. We also …nd a robust (albeit non-linear) positive relationship between a group’s hierarchical complexity and productivity which dominates the already known correlation between vertical integration and productivity. Results are in line with the theoretical framework of knowledge-based hierarchies developed by the literature, in which intangible assets are a complementary input in the production processes. JEL Classification: L22, L23, F23, L25, D24, G34

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1554.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1554.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131554
Contact details of provider: Postal:
60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Tarun Khanna & Yishay Yafeh, 2007. "Business Groups in Emerging Markets: Paragons or Parasites?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(2), pages 331-372, June.
  3. Caliendo, Lorenzo & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2011. "The Impact of Trade on Organization and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8535, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Richard Holden, 2011. "Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm: What Have We Learned over the Past 25 Years?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 181-97, Spring.
  5. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  6. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2007. "Power in the Multinational Corporation in Industry Equilibrium," Discussion Papers in Economics 1922, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Andrew F. Newman & Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger, 2011. "Trade Policy and Firm Boundaries," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-035, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Enghin Atalay & Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2012. "Why Do Firms Own Production Chains?," NBER Working Papers 18020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
  10. Altomonte, C. & Di Mauro, F. & Ottaviano, G. & Rungi, A. & Vicard, V., 2012. "Global Value Chains during the Great Trade Collapse: A Bullwhip Effect?," Working papers 364, Banque de France.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Working Papers 147, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
  12. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1965, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Influence of the Financial Revolution on the Nature of Firms," CRSP working papers 525, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  14. Granovetter, Mark, 1995. "Coase Revisited: Business Groups in the Modern Economy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 93-130.
  15. Williamson, Oliver E, 1971. "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 112-23, May.
  16. Heitor V. Almeida & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2006. "A Theory of Pyramidal Ownership and Family Business Groups," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2637-2680, December.
  17. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Thomas Hubbard & Luis Garicano, 2007. "The Return to Knowledge Hierarchies," Working Papers 07-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Why do management practices differ across firms and countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47491, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  22. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "What Determines Firm Size?," NBER Working Papers 7208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Assessing the Property Rights and Transaction-Cost Theories of Firm Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 184-188, May.
  25. Antràs, Pol & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435.
  28. Acemoglu, Daron & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," Scholarly Articles 3199063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  29. Fan, Joseph P H & Lang, Larry H P, 2000. "The Measurement of Relatedness: An Application to Corporate Diversification," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 629-60, October.
  30. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  31. Nick Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The organization of firms across countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25481, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  32. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 2010. "A Theory of Firm Scope," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 483-513.
  33. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2001. "Bringing the Market inside the Firm?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 212-218, May.
  34. Kali, Raja, 1999. "Endogenous Business Networks," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 615-36, October.
  35. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Inequality and the Organization of Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 197-202, May.
  36. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  37. Raja Kali, 2003. "Business groups, the financial market and modernization," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 671-696, December.
  38. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2009. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: Financial Development and Contracting Costs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1251-1290, 06.
  39. Hennart, J.M.A., 2001. "Explaining the swollen middle : Why most transactions are a mix of market and hierarchy," Other publications TiSEM 8cfbbf66-a090-441d-8dfc-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  40. 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.
  41. Stefania Vitali & James B. Glattfelder & Stefano Battiston, 2011. "The network of global corporate control," Papers 1107.5728, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2011.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131554. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.