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The Price Effects of a Large Merger of Manufacturers: A Case Study of Maytag-Whirlpool

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  • Orley C. Ashenfelter
  • Daniel S. Hosken
  • Matthew C. Weinberg

Abstract

Many experts speculate that US antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers has been too lenient. We estimate the price effects of Whirlpool's acquisition of Maytag to provide new evidence on this debate. We compare price changes in appliance markets most affected by the merger to markets where concentration changed much less or not at all. We estimate price increases for dishwashers and relatively large price increases for clothes dryers, but no price effects for refrigerators or clothes washers. The combined firm's market share fell across all four affected categories, and the number of distinct appliance products offered for sale fell. (JEL G34, K21, L11, L41, L68)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 239-61

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:239-61

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.1.239
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  1. Genesove, David & Mullin, Wallace P, 2001. "Rules, Communication and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," CEPR Discussion Papers 2739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
  3. Jain, Satish (ed.), 2010. "Law and Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198067733.
  4. Chandra, Ambarish & Collard-Wexler, Allan, 2008. "Mergers in Two-Sided Markets: An Application to the Canadian Newspaper Industry," MPRA Paper 7954, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Clifford Winston & Vikram Maheshri & Scott M. Dennis, 2011. "Long-Run Effects of Mergers: The Case of U.S. Western Railroads," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 275 - 304.
  6. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2001. "Do Mergers Increase Product Variety? Evidence From Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1009-1025, August.
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Cited by:
  1. De Nijs, Romain, 2012. "The price discrimination effect of a large merger of parking garages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 928-931.
  2. Aguzzoni, Luca & Argentesi, Elena & Buccirossi, Paolo & Ciari, Lorenzo & Duso, Tomaso & Tognoni, Massimo & Vitale, Cristiana, 2013. "They played the merger game: A retrospective analysis in the UK videogames market," DICE Discussion Papers 113, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  3. Duarte Brito & Pedro Pereira & Joaquim Ramalho, 2013. "Mergers, Coordinated Effects and Efficiency in the Portuguese Non-Life Insurance Industry," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2013_18, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  4. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle & Stéphane Turolla & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2013. "The Impact of Retail Mergers on Food Prices: Evidence from France," Working Papers hal-00920460, HAL.
  5. Duso, Tomaso & Argentesi, Elena & Aguzzoni, Luca & Ciari, Lorenzo & Tognoni, Massimo, 2013. "Ex-post Merger Evaluation in the UK Retail Market for Books," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80025, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "Empirische Ex-Post Evaluation von wettbewerbspolitischen Entscheidungen: Methodische Anmerkungen," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 69, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  7. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "Impact evaluation of merger control decisions," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 75, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  8. Oliver Budzinski, 2011. "Impact Evaluation of Merger Decisions," Working Papers 112/11, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  9. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, . "Horizontal Mergers in the Spokes Model," Discussion Papers 09/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
  10. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2013. "The Effect of Mergers in Search Market: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Industry," NBER Working Papers 19126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, 2012. "On the Price Effects of Horizontal Mergers : A Theoretical Interpretation," Working Papers 1222, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  12. Stephen Martin, 2012. "Market Structure and Market Performance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 87-108, March.
  13. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle & Stéphane Turolla & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2013. "The impact of retail mergers on food prices: evidence from France," Working Papers 181943, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.

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