A Formal Theory of Firm Boundaries: A Trade-Off between Rent Seeking and Bargaining Costs
We develop a theory of firm boundaries in the spirit of transaction cost analysis, in which trading parties engage in ex post value split. We show that ex post inefficient bargaining under non-integration creates a trade-off between rent seeking and bargaining costs: while non-integration incurs lower rent-seeking costs than integration, it suffers from bargaining delay and breakdown, which never occur under integration. This result explains why rent-seeking activities within firms are likely to be more costly than those between firms, and offers a formal justification for the "costs of bureaucracy" in Williamson (1985).
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- Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990.
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- Jihong Lee & Qingmin Liu, 2013. "Gambling Reputation: Repeated Bargaining With Outside Options," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1601-1672, 07.
- Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, March.
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