Ownership Vs. Contract: How Vertical Integration Affects Investment Decisions in Pharmaceutical R&D

56 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2005 Last revised: 8 Feb 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1, 2005


This paper explores the effect of vertical integration on investment behavior in the pharmaceutical industry. I study a detailed, project-level sample of 4057 drug candidates that were sponsored by 40 large pharmaceutical firms during the period 1984-2001. Of these projects, 447 were conducted through a contractual alliance with another, smaller company that had discovered the drug candidate. The existence of these two types of governance structures allows me to compare integrated and non-integrated projects within the same firm. Controlling for project and firm characteristics, I document that pharmaceutical firms are more selective in continuing their integrated projects than in continuing projects governed by contract. I hypothesize that this difference is caused by the rigidity of the contract that governs non-integrated projects, making them less flexible in adapting to changes in the firm's situation. In line with this hypothesis, I document that although more frequently continued, non-integrated projects have a lower probability of success. Moreover, investment in non-integrated projects is less sensitive to the firm's cash flow and to the existence of other projects in the firm.

Keywords: Vertical Integration, Investment Decisions, Internal Capital Markets, Pharmaceutical Industry

JEL Classification: G32, L22, L65

Suggested Citation

Guedj, Ilan, Ownership Vs. Contract: How Vertical Integration Affects Investment Decisions in Pharmaceutical R&D (October 1, 2005). McCombs Research Paper Series No. FIN-01-06, AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=677371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.677371

Ilan Guedj (Contact Author)

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