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Defining the Frontiers of the Firm through Property Rights Allocation: The Case of the French Retailer Cooperative Leclerc

Marie-Laure Baron
Review of Social Economy
Vol. 65, No. 3 (SEPTEMBER 2007), pp. 293-317
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29770417
Page Count: 25
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Defining the Frontiers of the Firm through Property Rights Allocation: The Case of the French Retailer Cooperative Leclerc
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Abstract

France harbours three large retailer cooperatives which, put together, account for more than a third of the national market share. The largest of these is Leclerc, a leading firm on the French territory. The paper presented here shows how, through the particular distribution of property rights and decision patterns, this cooperative, although hampered by an unstable size, manages to compete with integrated firms. Indeed, the processes that have been developed enable the cooperative to acquire long-term property rights on the specific assets (stores), while remaining in the cooperative framework. The system built is efficient because incentives remain high for members to increase their own performance.

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