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Columbia Law School

2009

Columbia Law Review

Antitrust and Trade Regulation

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Contracting For Innovation: Vertical Disintegration And Interfirm Collaboration, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2009

Contracting For Innovation: Vertical Disintegration And Interfirm Collaboration, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Rapidly innovating industries are not behaving the way theory expects. Conventional industrial organization theory predicts that, when parties in a supply chain have to make transaction-specific investments, the risk of opportunism will drive them away from contracts and toward vertical integration. Despite the conventional theory, however, contemporary practice is moving in the other direction. Instead of vertical integration, we observe vertical disintegration in a significant number of industries, as producers recognize that they cannot themselves maintain cutting-edge technology in every field required for the success of their products. In doing this, the parties are developing forms of contracting beyond the ...