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Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration?

Laura Alfaro (), Paola Conconi (), Harald Fadinger and Andrew Newman

No 16118, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: What is the relationship between product prices and vertical integration? While the literature has focused on how integration affects prices, this paper provides evidence that prices can affect integration. Many theories in organizational economics and industrial organization posit that integration, while costly, increases productivity. It follows from firms' maximizing behavior that higher prices induce more integration. The reason is that at low prices, increases in revenue resulting from enhanced productivity are too small to justify the cost, whereas at high prices the revenue benefit exceeds the cost. Trade policy provides a source of exogenous price variation to assess the validity of this prediction: higher tariffs should lead to higher prices and therefore to more integration. We construct firm-level indices of vertical integration for a large set of countries and industries and exploit cross-section and time-series variation in import tariffs to examine their impact on firm boundaries. Our empirical results provide strong support for the view that output prices are a key determinant of vertical integration.

JEL-codes: D23 F13 F23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec and nep-int
Date: 2010-06
Note: IO ITI
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger & Andrew F. Newman, 2016. "Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration?," The Review of Economic Studies, vol 83(3), pages 855-888.

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Journal Article: Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration?” (2016)
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