Hubbard on Firm Boundaries

1 April 2008 at 9:58 am 5 comments

| Peter Klein |

Thomas Hubbard has a nice review article in the May 2008 issue of the Canadian Journal of Economics, “Empirical Research on Firms’ Boundaries.” (Thanks to Fabio Chaddad for the pointer.) It’s a well-worn subject but there is certainly room for new interpretations. And Hubbard himself has been an important contributor to this literature (e.g., here and here). Here’s the abstract:

La recherche empirique sur les déterminants des frontières de l’entreprise a fleuri au cours des derniers 25 ans. Cet article discute des progrès accomplis en mettant l’accent sur les avancées intellectuelles faites par les chercheurs dans la littérature spécialisée durant cette période. On souligne le rôle important des chercheurs empiriques dans l’opérationnalisation des concepts théoriques, et on explique comment les succès dans ce registre ont contribué à faire que ces concepts ont eu un impact sur les décisions de faire-ou-faire-faire dans la vie réelle. On discute aussi des déficiences de cette littérature — en particulier la pauvreté des travaux de recherche sur l’impact de la variation dans les frontières des entreprises sur les rendements économiques — et on suggère comment de telles déficiences pourraient être corrigées.

Ha ha, April Fool’s! OK, here it is in English:

Empirical research on the determinants of firms’ boundaries has flourished over the past 25 years. This article discusses the progress that has been made to date, emphasizing the intellectual advances made by researchers in this literature during this period. I stress empirical researchers’ important role in operationalizing theoretical concepts and relate how success on this dimension brings these concepts to bear on real-life, make-or-buy decisions. I also discuss shortcomings in the current literature — in particular the paucity of research on how variation in firms’ boundaries can affect economic outcomes — and point to how and where such shortcomings might be overcome.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, New Institutional Economics, Theory of the Firm.

Jeffrey Pfeffer in the Lion’s Den Apple, Microsoft, and Product Design

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dick Langlois  |  1 April 2008 at 1:36 pm

    La décision de faire-ou-faire-faire. That’s much cooler than the English.

  • 2. david  |  1 April 2008 at 2:23 pm

    It sounds downright naughty.

  • 3. Peter Klein  |  1 April 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Would the Carnegie triple become the Carnegie ménage à trois?

  • 4. SAUSSIER STEPHANE  |  2 April 2008 at 2:24 pm

    French is cool, of course. But I hope I do not make so many (language) mistakes when I write a paper in English! You would have told me Peter, wouldn’t you ? :-)

  • 5. Peter Klein  |  2 April 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Stephane, your English is always perfect. Incidentally, just to be clear, that’s the CJE’s translation above, not mine!

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