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Globalization and Vertical Structure: An Empirical Investigation

  • Buehler, Stefan


  • Burghardt, Dirk


This paper studies the effect of trade facilitation on vertical firm structure using plant-level data from Switzerland. Based on the Business Census and the Input-Output table, we first calculate a binary measure of vertical integration for all plants registered in Switzerland. We then estimate the effect of a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the European Union on the plants' probability of being vertically integrated. Adopting a difference-in-differences approach, we find that this policy change reduced the treated plants' probability of being vertically integrated by about 10 percent. Our results are consistent with recent work in international trade theory.

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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1310.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2013:10
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  1. Holger Breinlich, 2006. "Trade Liberalization and Industrial Restructuring through Mergers and Acquisitions," Economics Discussion Papers 619, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger & Andrew F. Newman, 2010. "Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration? Evidence from Trade Policy," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-060, Harvard Business School, revised May 2013.
  3. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
  4. Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Assessing the Property Rights and Transaction-Cost Theories of Firm Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 184-188, May.
  5. Guido Imbens & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent developments in the econometrics of program evaluation," CeMMAP working papers CWP24/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2004. "Intimidating Competitors – Endogenous Vertical Integration and Downstream Investment in Successive Oligopoly," SOI - Working Papers 0409, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2005.
  7. Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2008. "Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and the hold-up problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 225-241, January.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2004. "Vertical integration and technology: theory and evidence," IFS Working Papers W04/34, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Timothy Bresnahan & Jonathan Levin, 2012. "Vertical Integration and Market Structure," Discussion Papers 11-010, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  10. Amiti, Mary & Konings, Jozef, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  12. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Marin, Dalia, 2012. "The Theory of the Firm goes Global," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 370, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  14. 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.
  15. Oliver Hart, 2011. "Thinking about the Firm: A Review of Daniel Spulber's The Theory of the Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 101-13, March.
  16. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
  17. Justin Pierce & Peter Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," Working Papers 09-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Antràs, Pol, 2011. "Grossman-Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production," CEPR Discussion Papers 8598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade Liberalization, Exports and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean Firms," 2009 Meeting Papers 1029, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2006. "Cementing Relationships: Vertical Integration, Foreclosure, Productivity, and Prices," Working Papers 06-21, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. Philippe Aghion & Richard Holden, 2011. "Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm: What Have We Learned over the Past 25 Years?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 181-97, Spring.
  22. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2003. "Asymmetric Vertical Integration," SOI - Working Papers 0306, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2004.
  23. Lafontaine, Francine & Slade, Margaret, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries : The Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 799, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  24. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity... for Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099, August.
  25. Aekapol Chongvilaivan & Jung Hur, 2012. "Trade Openness and Vertical Integration: Evidence from the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1242-1264, April.
  26. Fan, Joseph P H & Lang, Larry H P, 2000. "The Measurement of Relatedness: An Application to Corporate Diversification," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 629-60, October.
  27. Stefan Buehler & Justus Haucap, 2003. "Strategic Outsourcing Revisited," SOI - Working Papers 0305, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  28. Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2006. "Vertical Integration and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 97-102, May.
  29. 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.
  30. John McLaren, 2003. "Trade and Market Thickness: Effects on Organizations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 328-336, 04/05.
  31. Bühler, Stefan & Helm, Marco & Lechner, Michael, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: Plant-Level Evidence from Switzerland," Economics Working Paper Series 1133, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
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