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Competition intensity, potential competition and transaction cost economics


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  • Busse, Matthias


As the process of globalisation of the world economy progresses, the degree of international competition among enterprises increases as well. Yet not all industries or branches are affected to the same extent by this development. One of the most important factors which determine the degree of globalisation of an industry is the level of transaction costs. Whereas low transaction costs tend to result in globalised markets, high transaction costs induce segmented markets. Because they may also indicate the degree of potential competition, transaction costs can be of great importance for competition authorities in the case of corporate mergers and acquisitions. Heterogeneous consumer preferences and product differentiation, as two additional determinants of the degree of globalisation, however, limit the meaningfulness of this approach. In some cases, the precision of the measurement of transaction is also inaccurate. This methodology hence cannot be generalised, but does make more sense in particular cases. -- Mit der fortschreitenden Globalisierung der Weltwirtschaft nimmt auch der Grad des internationalen Wettbewerbs zwischen den Unternehmen zu. Von dieser Entwicklung sind aber nicht alle Firmen im gleichen Ausmaß betroffen. Einer der wichtigsten Determinanten des Globalisierungsgrades einer Branche ist die Höhe der Transaktionskosten. Niedrige Transaktionskosten führen tendenziell zu globalisierten Märkten, hohe Transaktionskosten entsprechend zu segmentierten Märkten. Hinzu kommt, dass Transaktionskosten auch Auskunft über den Grad des potentiellen Wettbewerbs geben können. Damit erhalten Wettbewerbsbehörden einen wichtigen Indikator für die Beurteilung der räumlichen Marktabgrenzung, das heißt ob Unternehmen aus verschiedenen Ländern miteinander im Wettbewerb stehen. Hierbei sind jedoch mit heterogenen Präferenzen und Produktdifferenzierungen zwei weitere potentielle Einflussfaktoren auf den Grad der Globalisierung zu berücksichtigen. Zudem können Transaktionskosten nicht immer genau gemessen werden. Deshalb ist dieser Ansatz vielmehr in Einzelfällen sinnvoll anzuwenden und kann nicht verallgemeinert werden.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 183.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26168

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Keywords: Transaction costs; potential competition; competition policy;

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Ben Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, . "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is there a Common Cause?," Working Paper 32326, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. Helpman, E., 1998. "The Structure of Foreign Trade," Papers 18-98, Tel Aviv.
  3. Victor V Cordell, 1992. "Effects of Consumer Preferences for Foreign Sourced Products," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(2), pages 251-269, June.
  4. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 1999. "Trade, Insecurity, and Home Bias: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John Freebairn, 1995. "Competition Policy: Some Neglected Issues in the Hilmer Report," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(3), pages 27-42.
  6. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  7. Roy, Santanu & Viaene, Jean-Marie, 1998. "Preferences, Country Bias, and International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 204-19, May.
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