Firm Ownership: The Legacy of Grossman and Hart

9 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2015

See all articles by Henry Hansmann

Henry Hansmann

Yale University - Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: December 20, 2011


Grossman and Hart’s prominent 1986 article on “The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration” focuses, as its title suggests, on which of a firm’s input suppliers are, or are not, efficiently owned by the firm. This brief essay, prepared for a conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that article’s publication, argues that the article’s analysis offers important insight, not just into what a firm owns, but also into who owns the firm.

Keywords: Theory of the Firm, Ownership, Property Rights, Cooperatives, Government

JEL Classification: D23, K22, L22, L30, P13

Suggested Citation

Hansmann, Henry, Firm Ownership: The Legacy of Grossman and Hart (December 20, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Henry Hansmann (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7101 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics