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Civic Capital and the Vertical Integration of Service Provision: Evidence from Italy

  • Matthias Buerker
  • Gaetano Alfredo Minerva

This paper studies whether civic capital acts an effective restraint against opportunistic behavior in transactions, looking at the degree of outsourcing to external suppliers of service provision in Italian firms. Our results show that, on average, firms tend to outsource more services where civic capital is higher. Two qualifications apply: the firms that are more heavily influenced are the smaller ones; the effect is particularly pronounced in provinces where formal contract enforcement is more difficult. To address the issue of endogeneity we also instrument the current stock of civic capital by historical variables. We argue that the rise in the propensity to engage in transactions with outside service suppliers is evidence of a decrease in the opportunistic behavior between the parties involved in the transaction.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa13/ERSA2013_paper_01209.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa13p1209.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p1209
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  1. Ono, Yukako, 2003. "Outsourcing business services and the role of central administrative offices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 377-395, May.
  2. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
  3. Thomas J. Holmes, 1995. "Localization of industry and vertical disintegration," Staff Report 190, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2010. "Civic Capital as the Missing Link," EIEF Working Papers Series 1005, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2010.
  6. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
  8. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2009. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 145-170, 02.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. G. A. Minerva & M. Burker, 2011. "Explaining the Size Distribution of Plants: An Approach Based on Civic Capital," Working Papers wp755, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  11. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  12. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
  13. Li, Ben & Lu, Yi, 2009. "Geographic concentration and vertical disintegration: Evidence from China," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 294-304, May.
  14. Joskow, Paul L, 1985. "Vertical Integration and Long-term Contracts: The Case of Coal-burning Electric Generating Plants," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 33-80, Spring.
  15. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 2007. "Agglomeration, opportunism, and the organization of production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 55-75, July.
  16. Rocco Macchiavello, 2012. "Financial Development And Vertical Integration: Theory And Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 255-289, 04.
  17. Chen, Yongmin, 2000. "Promises, Trust, and Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 209-32, April.
  18. Guido de Blasio & Giorgio Nuzzo, 2010. "Historical Traditions Of Civicness And Local Economic Development," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 833-857.
  19. Fernando Merino & Diego Rodríguez Rodríguez, 2007. "Business services outsourcing by manufacturing firms," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(6), pages 1147-1173, December.
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