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Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation

Laura Alfaro (), Nicholas Bloom (), Paola Conconi (), Harald Fadinger, Patrick Legros, Andrew F. Newman (), Raffaella Sadun () and John van Reenen ()
Additional contact information
Andrew F. Newman: Boston University

No 18-051, Harvard Business School Working Papers from Harvard Business School

Abstract: Little is known about the relationship between firm boundaries and the allocation of decision rights within firms. We develop a model in which final good producers choose which suppliers to integrate and whether to delegate decisions to integrated suppliers, when they are ex-ante uncertain about their ability. In this setting, integration has an option value: ownership rights give producers authority to delegate or centralize production decisions, depending on the realized ability of suppliers. To assess the evidence, we construct measures of vertical integration and delegation for thousands of firms in many countries and industries. Consistent with the model, we find that (i) integration and delegation co-vary positively; (ii) firms delegate more decisions to integrated suppliers of more valuable inputs; and suppliers are more likely to be integrated if (iii) they produce more valuable inputs and (iv) operate in industries with greater productivity dispersion.

Keywords: Vertical integration; decentralization; real options; supply assurance. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D2 L2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-mic and nep-tid
Date: 2017-12, Revised 2019-05
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/pages/download.aspx?name=18-051.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come together: firm boundaries and delegation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Come Together: Firm Boundaries and Delegation (2018) Downloads
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