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Horizontal Mergers, Involuntary Unemployment, and Welfare

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  • Oliver Budzinski

    ()
    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer

    ()
    (Philipps-University of Marburg)

Abstract

Standard welfare analysis of horizontal mergers usually refers to two effects: the anticompetitive market power effect reduces welfare by enabling firms to charge prices above marginal costs, whereas the procompetitive efficiency effect increases welfare by reducing the costs of production (synergies). However, demand-side effects of synergies are usually neglected. We introduce them into a standard oligopoly model of horizontal merger by assuming an (empirically supported) decrease in labour demand due to merger-specific synergies and derive welfare effects. We find that efficiency benefits from horizontal mergers are substantially decreased, if involuntary unemployment exists. However, in full employment economies, demand-side effects remain negligible. Eventually, policy conclusions for merger control are discussed.

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File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/07-2009_budzinski.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 200907.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:200907

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Keywords: horizontal mergers; involuntary unemployment; efficiency defense; oligopoly; competition;

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  1. K. P. Upadhyaya & F. G. Mixon, 2003. "Merger activity and unemployment in the USA," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(11), pages 705-707.
  2. Joseph A. Clougherty & Tomaso Duso, 2008. "The Impact of Horizontal Mergers on Rivals: Gains to Being Left Outside a Merger," CIG Working Papers SP II 2008-17r, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Feb 2009.
  3. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-26, March.
  4. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & DOS SANTOS FERREIRA, Rodolphe & GERARD-VARET, Louis-André, . "Unemployment in a Cournot oligopoly model with Ford effects," CORE Discussion Papers RP -858, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Paolo Fulghieri & Laurie Simon Hodrick, 2006. "Synergies and Internal Agency Conflicts: The Double-Edged Sword of Mergers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 549-576, 09.
  6. d'Aspremont, Claude & Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1990. "On Monopolistic Competition and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 895-919, November.
  7. Kenneth Heyer, 2006. "Welfare Standards and Merger Analysis: Why not the Best?," EAG Discussions Papers 200608, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
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  9. Margolis, David N., 2006. "Should Employment Authorities Worry About Mergers and Acquisitions?," IZA Discussion Papers 1994, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Dennis W. Carlton, 2007. "Does Antitrust Need to be Modernized?," EAG Discussions Papers 200703, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  11. Michelle Haynes & Steve Thompson, 1999. "Merger Activity and Employment: Evidence from the UK Mutual Sector," Empirica, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 39-54, March.
  12. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, October.
  13. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Industrial Organization 0012002, EconWPA, revised 05 Jan 2001.
  14. d'Aspremont, Claude & Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1989. "Unemployment in an Extended Cournot Oligopoly Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 490-505, July.
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  16. Behar Alberto & Hodge James, 2008. "The Employment Effects of Mergers in a Declining Industry: The Case of South African Gold Mining," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-20, August.
  17. David Margolis, 2006. "Should Employment Authorities Worry About Mergers and Acquisitions ?," Working Papers 2006-03, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique, revised Mar 2006.
  18. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00111969 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 295-324, March.
  20. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00202292 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Gersbach, Hans, 2000. "Promoting Product Market Competition to Reduce Unemployment in Europe: An Alternative Approach?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 117-33.
  22. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  23. Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2005. "Product Market Competition, Profit Sharing and Equilibrium Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1603, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Gugler, Klaus & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2004. "The effects of mergers on company employment in the USA and Europe," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 481-502, April.
  25. Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2006. "Bank Mergers and Crime: The Real and Social Effects of Credit Market Competition," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 495-538, 04.
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