DP8265 Competition and Trust: Evidence from German Car Manufacturers

Author(s): Leonardo Felli, Johannes Koenen, Konrad O Stahl
Publication Date: February 2011
Keyword(s): Car manufacturers, Competition, German automotive industry, Hold-up problem, Specific investment, Suppliers, Trust
JEL(s): D22, D86, L22, L62
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8265

We explore the determinants and effects of trust relationships between upstream suppliers and downstream producers. Using unique survey data on individual supplier-buyer relationships in the German automotive industry, we show, by means of different measures of supplier-buyer trust, that higher levels of trust mitigate relationship-specific underinvestment in a classical hold-up situation. Moreover, contrary to the extant literature, we show that higher levels of supplier's trust are reflected in the buyer's choice of a more competitive procurement strategy among potential suppliers.