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Contracting institutions and firm boundaries

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  • Eppinger, Peter S.
  • Kukharskyy, Bohdan

Abstract

Contractual frictions are widely known to shape firm boundaries. But do better contracting institutions, which reduce these frictions, induce firms to be more or less deeply integrated? This paper provides a large-scale investigation of this question using a unique micro dataset of ownership shares across half a million firm pairs worldwide. We uncover strong evidence that better contracting institutions in subsidiaries' countries favor deeper integration, particularly in relationship-specific industries. We formally show that these findings can be explained by a generalized Property-Rights Theory of the firm featuring partial ownership, while they are at odds with the canonical Transaction-Cost Theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Eppinger, Peter S. & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2017. "Contracting institutions and firm boundaries," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 100, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:100
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Bolatto & A. Naghavi & G. Ottaviano & K. Zajc Kejzar, 2017. "Intangible Assets and the Organization of Global Supply Chains," Working Papers wp1105, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Charlie Joyez, 2017. "Firm heterogeneity and the integration trilemma: The utility of Joint ventures in integration versus outsourcing models," Working Papers DT/2017/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. Charlie Joyez, 2018. "Interaction between firm-level and host-country characteristics and multinationals' integration choices," Working Papers DT/2018/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    firm boundaries; contracting institutions; multinational firms; property-rights theory; firmlevel analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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