Working Paper No. 598

The Firm as a Pool of Factor Complementarities

Published: June 10, 2003Pages: 15Keywords: Boundary of Firm; Complementarities of Production, Transaction CostsJEL-codes: D20; D40; D80

The Firm as a Pool of Factor Complementarities Assar Lindbeck and Dennis J. Snower


This paper presents a new approach to the theory of the firm by identifying factor complementarities as central to the determination of the firm's boundaries. The factor complementarities may take a variety of forms: technological and informational complementarities, as well as economies of scale and scope. We examine the tradeoff between the gains from these complementarities and transactions costs. In so doing, we must abandon the standard dichotomy between the determinants of plant size and firm size. The influence of factor complementarities on firm size is examined in partial and general equilibrium frameworks.

 

Assar Lindbeck

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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