We develop a simple model that links the adoption of a productivity-enhancing technology to increased vertical integration and a less skilled workforce. We test the model's key prediction using novel micro data on vehicle ownership patterns from the Economic Census during a period when computerized dispatching systems were first adopted by taxicab firms. Controlling for time-invariant firm-specific effects, firms increase the proportion of taxicabs under fleet-ownership by 12 percent when they adopt new computerized dispatching systems. An instrumental variables analysis suggests that the link between dispatching technology and vertical integration is causal. These findings suggest that increasing a firm's productivity can lead to increased vertical integration, even in the absence of asset specificity.
Rawley, Evan, and Timothy Simcoe. "Information Technology, Productivity and Asset Ownership: Evidence from Taxicab Fleets." Organization Science 24, no. 3 (2013): 831-845.
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