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Affiliation, Integration, and Information: Ownership Incentives and Industry Structure

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  • Thomas N. Hubbard

Abstract

This paper presents theory and evidence on horizontal industry structure, focusing on situations where plant-level scale economies are small and market power is not an issue. At issue is the question: what makes industries necessarily fragmented? The theoretical model distinguishes between the structure of brands and firms in an industry by examining trade-offs associated with affiliation and integration, and how they are affected by the contracting environment. I show how contractual incompleteness can lead industries to be necessarily fragmented. I also show that improvements in the contracting environment will tend to lead to a greater concentration of brands, but whether they lead industries to be more or less concentrated depends on what becomes contractible. I then discuss the propositions generated by the model through a series of case study examples.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas N. Hubbard, 2001. "Affiliation, Integration, and Information: Ownership Incentives and Industry Structure," NBER Working Papers 8300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8300
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. George Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2001. "Empirical Strategies in Contract Economics: Information and the Boundary of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 189-194, May.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    6. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    7. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
    9. Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 1994. "Insider Lending: Banks, Personal Connections, and Economic Development in Industrial New England," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lamo94-1, June.
    10. Andrea Shepard, 1993. "Contractual Form, Retail Price, and Asset Characteristics in Gasoline Retailing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 58-77, Spring.
    11. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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