IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hbs/wpaper/10-060.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration? Evidence from Trade Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Alfaro

    () (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)

  • Paola Conconi

    () (Universit´e Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES) and CEPR)

  • Harald Fadinger

    () (University of Vienna)

  • Andrew F. Newman

    () (Boston University and CEPR)

Abstract

What is the relationship between product prices and vertical integration? While the literature has focused on how integration affects prices, this paper shows that prices can affect integration. Many theories in organizational economics and industrial organization posit that integration, while costly, increases productivity. If true, it follows from firms' maximizing behavior that higher prices cause firms to choose more integration. The reason is that at low prices, increases in revenue resulting from enhanced productivity are too small to justify the cost, whereas at higher prices, the revenue benefit exceeds the cost. Trade policy provides a source of exogenous price variation to assess the validity of this prediction: higher tariffs should lead to higher prices and therefore to more integration. We construct firm-level indices of vertical integration for a large set of countries and industries and exploit cross-section and time-series variation in import tariffs to examine their impact on firm boundaries. Our empirical results provide strong support for the view that output prices are a key determinant of vertical integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger & Andrew F. Newman, 2010. "Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration? Evidence from Trade Policy," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-060, Harvard Business School, revised May 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-060
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/pages/download.aspx?name=10-060.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Scott Bradford, 2003. "Paying the Price: Final Goods Protection in OECD Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 24-37, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Buehler, Stefan & Burghardt, Dirk, 2013. "Globalization and Vertical Structure: An Empirical Investigation," Economics Working Paper Series 1310, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    2. Johannes Boehm, 2014. "The Impact of Contract Enforcement Costs on Outsourcing and Aggregate Productivity," 2014 Meeting Papers 340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Conconi, Paola & Sapir, André & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2016. "The internationalization process of firms: From exports to FDI," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 16-30.
    4. 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.
    5. Serfes, Konstantinos, 2013. "A Price Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration under Two-Sided Productivity Heterogeneity," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2013-6, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, revised 06 Mar 2014.
    6. Del Prete, Davide & Rungi, Armando, 2017. "Organizing the global value chain: A firm-level test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 16-30.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Theory of the firm; vertical integration; product prices.;

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-060. 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: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/harbsus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.