NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Veikko Thiele

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Working Papers

October 2012A Theory of the Firm based on Partner Displacement
with Thomas F. Hellmann: w18495
We develop a new theory of the firm where asset owners sometimes want to change partners ex-post. The model identifies a fundamental trade-off between (i) a “displacement externality” under non-integration, where a partner leaves a relationship even though the benefit is worth less than the loss to the displaced partner, and (ii), a “retention externality” under integration, where a partner inefficiently retains the other. Renegotiation cannot eliminate these inefficiencies when agents are wealth constrained. When there is more asset specificity, displacement externalities matter more and retention externality less, so that integration becomes more attractive. Our model also predicts that integration always provides stronger incentives for specific investments, and that wealthy owners actu...

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