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

  • Thomas N. Hubbard
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8300.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8300.

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    Date of creation: May 2001
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    Publication status: published as Hubbard, Thomas. "Affiliation, Integration, and Information: Ownership Incentives and Industry Structure." Journal of Industrial Economics (June 2004): 201-228.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8300
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    1. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. 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, September.
    4. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    5. 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.
    6. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
    7. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," NBER Working Papers 7685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
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