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Identification and Estimation of Intra-Firm and Industry Competition via Ownership Change

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  • Michel, Christian
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    Abstract

    This paper proposes and empirically implements a framework for analyzing industry competition and the degree of joint profit maximization of merging firms in differentiated product industries. Using pre- and post-merger industry data, I am able to separate merging firms' intra-organizational pricing considerations from industry pricing considerations. The insights of the paper shed light on a long-standing debate in the theoretical literature about the consequences of organizational integration. Moreover, I propose a novel approach to directly estimate industry conduct that relies on ownership changes and input price variation. I apply my framework using data from the ready-to-eat cereal industry, covering the 1993 Post-Nabisco merger. My results show an increasing degree of joint profit maximization of the merged entities over the first two years after the merger, eventually leading to almost full maximization of joint profits. I find that between 9.7 and 19.1 percent of industry markups can be attributed to cooperative industry behavior, while the remaining markup is due to product differentiation of multi-product firms. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 80488.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:80488

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    1. Volker Nocke & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Dynamic Merger Review," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1201 - 1251.
    2. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    3. Céline Bonnet & Pierre Dubois, 2010. "Inference on vertical contracts between manufacturers and retailers allowing for nonlinear pricing and resale price maintenance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 139-164.
    4. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
    5. Ronald W. Cotterill & Andrew W. Franklin, 1999. "An estimation of consumer benefits from the public campaign to lower cereal prices," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 273-287.
    6. Douglas Rivers & Quang Vuong, 2002. "Model selection tests for nonlinear dynamic models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, June.
    7. 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).
    8. Günter J. Hitsch, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Optimal Dynamic Product Launch and Exit Under Demand Uncertainty," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(1), pages 25-50, 01-02.
    9. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
    10. Catherine Thomas, 2011. "Too Many Products: Decentralized Decision Making in Multinational Firms," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 280-306, February.
    11. Lau, Lawrence J., 1982. "On identifying the degree of competitiveness from industry price and output data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 93-99.
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