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A Price Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration under Two-Sided Productivity Heterogeneity

  • Serfes, Konstantinos

    ()

    (School of Economics LeBow College of Business Drexel University)

Organizational design (firm boundaries) is an important aspect of a firm's internal structure and is affected by market conditions. Our main focus in this paper is on firm boundaries - firms' integration decisions - and how these decisions interact with product market competition, in a setting where firms in the market are heterogeneous with respect to their productivity. Existing research in the organizational industrial organization (OIO) literature has highlighted a price effect, which affects firms' integration incentives. We identify a second effect (revenue share effect) which works in the opposite direction from the price effect. The revenue share effect arises,very naturally, to ensure a stable equilibrium, when heterogeneous firms match endogenously in the market, and has profound implications for organizational design. We show that integration decisions can be non-monotonic with respect to firm productivity. Moreover, depending on the market distribution of firm productivities, a higher market price can induce more or fewer firms to integrate. In the latter case, the industry supply curve can be backward-bending. Market equilibria can be ownership inefficient, with 'too much' or 'too little' integration. These results are in contrast to existing literature and generate new empirical and policy implications.

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File URL: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/162210677/RePEc/drx/wpaper/LeBow%20College%20of%20Business%20Working%20Paper%202013-6.pdf
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Paper provided by LeBow College of Business, Drexel University in its series School of Economics Working Paper Series with number 2013-6.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 26 Nov 2013
Date of revision: 06 Mar 2014
Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2013_006
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.lebow.drexel.edu/

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  1. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
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  10. Alfaro, Laura & Conconi, Paola & Fadinger, Harald & Newman, Andrew, 2012. "Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration? Evidence from Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9200, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," NBER Working Papers 12216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Beauty Is a Beast, Frog Is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1073-1102, 07.
  14. Silke Januszewski Forbes & Mara Lederman, 2009. "Adaptation and Vertical Integration in the Airline Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1831-49, December.
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  17. Serfes, Konstantinos, 2005. "Risk sharing vs. incentives: Contract design under two-sided heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 343-349, September.
  18. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
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  21. Konstantinos Serfes, 2008. "Endogenous matching in a market with heterogeneous principals and agents," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 587-619, March.
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