Gary Gorton, Alexander Zentefis, 16 July 2020

Corporate culture is an important determinant of firm performance but has often been overlooked in economic research. This column presents a theory of the firm based on corporate culture. In firms, employees develop a product in house according to shared values, customs, and norms that each stem from a shared culture. Firms exist because, at times, corporate culture fulfils production more efficiently than detailed contracts would. Further, consistent with empirical evidence, this study shows how some mergers and acquisitions can fail and why corporate cultures are often hard to change once in place.

Jean Tirole, John Vickers, Eric Maskin, 21 March 2018

Jean Tirole's work on industrial organisation led to him being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics. In this video, Eric Maskin and John Vickers discuss the significance of Tirole's work in understanding market regulation. This video was originally published by the European Economic Association.

Rui Albuquerque, Miguel Ferreira, Luis Brandao-Marques, Pedro Matos, 17 January 2016

Previous research has shown that the corporate governance practices of firms are constrained by the legal standards of their country of incorporation. This column explores how an active international market for corporate control can substitute for weak institutions in a host country. Using firm-level data from 22 countries, it shows how cross-border M&A activity improves the governance of non-target firms in the same industry, via peer pressure. These findings provide evidence for corporate governance improvements as a novel positive spillover from FDI.

Laura Alfaro, Paola Conconi, Harald Fadinger, Andrew Newman, 28 October 2012

This paper shows that product prices determine organisational design by studying how trade policy affects vertical integration. The authors 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 the impact of prices on organisational choices.


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