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Efficient organization of production: nested versus horizontal outsourcing

  • Oz Shy
  • Rune Stenbacka
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The authors characterize equilibrium and efficient modes of production by comparing nested (vertical) outsourcing with horizontal outsourcing. Nested outsourcing is found to be inefficient unless the cost of monitoring outsourced production lines increases sharply with the number of subcontractors and not only with the number of outsourced components. They characterize a market failure in which nested outsourcing is selected when the case dictates that horizontal outsourcing is the efficient outsourcing mode. This failure occurs at an intermediate range of the costs of monitoring outsourcing to several subcontractors.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 09-9.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:09-9
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  1. Chaim Fershtman & Ehud Kalai, 1993. "Complexity Considerations and Market Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 224-235, Summer.
  2. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2003. "Strategic outsourcing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 203-224, February.
  3. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Anil Arya & Brian Mittendorf & David E. M. Sappington, 2008. "The Make-or-Buy Decision in the Presence of a Rival: Strategic Outsourcing to a Common Supplier," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(10), pages 1747-1758, October.
  6. Nickerson, Jack A. & Vanden Bergh, Richard, 1999. "Economizing in a context of strategizing: governance mode choice in Cournot competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-15, September.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:85-120 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2005. "Partial outsourcing, monitoring cost, and market structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1173-1190, November.
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