The major weakness with the signaling and product differentiation explanations is that they fail to explain the mix of implicit cooperation and contrary disinclinations. If Ford would signal something negative or cleverly differentiate its product by offering a car with a component that is also found on a GM product, why then is this apparently not the case for tires?
Both pride and negative signals might explain that set of disinclinations, with pride perhaps dominating if the perception is that Harvard and MIT cooperate relatively frequently.(35) Still, the equal division idea makes some sense of both the Harvard-Northeastern and Columbia-Barnard examples.
(30.) For what it is worth, I have not yet encountered a faculty member or administrator at Columbia or NYU who thought those schools' behavior could be explained by anything but unilateral or mutual disinclinations to cooperate.
Part of my claim, or at least of my starting point, is that the make-or-buy decision is influenced by an apparent disinclination in some cases to share sources of supply with one's competitors.
It is thus immediately apparent that a disinclination to cooperate bears on the size of the firm.
The disinclination to cooperate may also affect the boundaries of such entities as families, cities, and nations which also decide whether to undertake new ventures and modify old ones.
Insufficient attention has been paid to what I have been calling the disinclination to cooperate.
Put plainly, one claim is that markets sometimes intermediate and allow parties to overcome their disinclination to cooperate.
Most readers, however, will share in the observation that competitors often manifest a disinclination to cooperate.(7)
A twice-removed supplier may thus overcome the disinclination to cooperate precisely because of its increased separation from both competitors.