This article is concerned with the role of theory in explaining the inter‐industry variation of vertical integration (VI). Why, for example, is the world aluminium industry highly integrated (Stukey, 1983) whereas the tin industry is not (Hennart, 1982)? The article is not concerned with explaining differences in the average level of VI across countries, although these are undoubtedly significant (Chandler and Daeins, 1980).
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