Welfare Trade-Offs in US Rail Mergers
AbstractSince the publication by Williamson (1968) of his seminal paper on antitrust there has been a growing recognition by regulators of the need to assess trade-offs between merger-related efficiency gains and merger-induced increases in market power. This paper addresses that need by presenting a structural econometric model of recent mergers in the US rail industry. The paper extends the structural methodology by evaluating actual (as opposed to simulated) merger effects and by incorporating parametric estimates of merger efficiencies. Our empirical finding is that consumer surplus in US rail freight markets increased by about 30% between 1986 and 2001 despite dramatic industry consolidation, suggesting that to date the Williamson trade-off has favoured rail customers. We find that behaviour in these markets is consistent with the Kreps-Scheinkman (1983) model of a two-stage game where capacities are chosen first and then prices are set to give the Cournot outcome.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5000.
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Ivaldi, Marc & Mccullough, Gerard, 2010. "Welfare Tradeoffs in U.S. Rail Mergers," TSE Working Papers 10-196, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
- Ivaldi, Marc & Mccullough, Gerard, 2010. "Welfare Tradeoffs in U.S. Rail Mergers," IDEI Working Papers 344, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
- L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-06-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2005-06-14 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-IND-2005-06-14 (Industrial Organization)
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