Mary Jialin Li
Department of Economics
University of Chicago
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2017||How Wide Is the Firm Border?|
with Enghin Atalay, Ali Hortaçsu, Chad Syverson: w23777
We examine the within- and across-firm shipment decisions of tens of thousands of goods-producing and distributing establishments. This allows us to quantify the normally unobservable forces that determine firm boundaries; which transactions are mediated by ownership control, as opposed to contracts or markets. We find firm boundaries to be an economically significant barrier to trade: having an additional vertically integrated establishment in a given destination zip code has the same effect on shipment volumes as a 40 percent reduction in distance. We then calibrate a multisector trade model to quantify the economy-wide implications of transacting across vs. within firm boundaries.
Published: Enghin Atalay & Ali Hortaçsu & Mary Jialin Li & Chad Syverson, 2019. "How Wide Is the Firm Border?*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 134(4), pages 1845-1882.