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Quasi-integration in less-than-truckload trucking

This work studies the organization of less-than-truckload trucking from a contractual point of view. We show that the huge number of owner-operators working in the industry hides a much less fragmented reality. Most of those owner-operators are “quasi-integrated” in higher organizational structures. This hybrid form is generally more efficient than vertical integration because, in the Spanish institutional environment, it lessens serious moral hazard problems, related mainly to the use of the vehicles, and makes it possible to reach economies of scale and density. Empirical evidence suggests that what leads organizations to vertically integrate is not the presence of such economies but hold-up problems, related to the existence of specific assets. Finally, an international comparison hints that institutional constraints are able to explain differences in the evolution of vertical integration across countries.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 292.

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Date of creation: Jun 1998
Date of revision: Jul 2002
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:292
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Blau, David M, 1987. "A Time-Series Analysis of Self-employment in the United State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 445-67, June.
  2. Emerson, Michael, 1988. "Regulation or deregulation of the labour market : Policy regimes for the recruitment and dismissal of employees in the industrialised countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 775-817, April.
  3. Monteverde, Kirk & Teece, David J, 1982. "Appropriable Rents and Quasi-Vertical Integration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 321-28, October.
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  8. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
  9. Theodore E. Keeler., 1989. "Deregulation and Scale Economies in the U. S. Trucking Industry: An Econometric Extension of the Survivor Principle," Economics Working Papers 89-100, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Working Under Different Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free94-1, October.
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  12. Peoples, James & Peteraf, Margaret, 1995. "Deregulation and the Competitive Fringe: Owner-Operators in the Trucking Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 27-42, January.
  13. Allen, W Bruce & Liu, Dong, 1995. "Service Quality and Motor Carrier Costs: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 499-510, August.
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  15. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  16. Masten, Scott E & Meehan, James W, Jr & Snyder, Edward A, 1991. "The Costs of Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
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