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Does Merger Simulation Work? Evidence from the Swedish Analgesics Market

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  • Jonas Björnerstedt
  • Frank Verboven

Abstract

We analyze a large merger in the Swedish market for analgesics (painkillers). The merging firms raised prices by 40 percent, and some outsiders raised prices by more than 10 percent. We confront these changes with predictions from a merger simulation model. With basic supply side assumptions, the models correctly or moderately underpredict the merging firms' price increase. However, they predict a larger price increase for the smaller firm, which was not the case in practice, and they underpredict the outsiders' responses. We consider several supply side explanations: a plausible cost increase after the merger and the possibility of partial collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonas Björnerstedt & Frank Verboven, 2016. "Does Merger Simulation Work? Evidence from the Swedish Analgesics Market," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 125-164, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:125-64
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20130034
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
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    3. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Daniel S. Hosken & Matthew C. Weinberg, 2013. "The Price Effects of a Large Merger of Manufacturers: A Case Study of Maytag-Whirlpool," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 239-261, February.
    4. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    5. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 1999. "Voluntary Export Restraints on Automobiles: Evaluating a Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 400-430, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2019. "Brands in Motion: How Frictions Shape Multinational Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3073-3124, September.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:108-149 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ivaldi, Marc & Lagos, Vicente, 2018. "How Accurate is the Coordinate Price Pressure Index to Predict Mergers’ Coordinated Effects?," TSE Working Papers 18-915, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Mogens Fosgerau & Julien Monardo & André de Palma, 2019. "The Inverse Product Differentiation Logit Model," Working Papers hal-02183411, HAL.
    5. Elena Argentesi & Albert Banal-Estañol & Jo Seldeslachts & Meagan Andrews, 2017. " A retrospective evaluation of the GDF/Suez merger: Effects on gas hub prices," Working Papers of Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation, Leuven 582764, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation, Leuven.
    6. Brito, Duarte & Ribeiro, Ricardo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2018. "Quantifying the coordinated effects of partial horizontal acquisitions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 108-149.
    7. Cazaubiel, Arthur & Cure, Morgane & Johansen, Bjørn Olav & Vergé, Thibaud, 2018. "Substitution Between Online Distribution Channels: Evidence from the Oslo Hotel Market," Working Papers in Economics 8/18, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:eee:indorg:v:61:y:2018:i:c:p:653-685 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:kap:revind:v:54:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11151-018-9650-z is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Brunner, Daniel & Heiss, Florian & Romahn, André & Weiser, Constantin, 2017. "Reliable estimation of random coefficient logit demand models," DICE Discussion Papers 267, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    11. Federico Ciliberto & GianCarlo Moschini & Edward D. Perry, 2019. "Valuing product innovation: genetically engineered varieties in US corn and soybeans," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 50(3), pages 615-644, September.
    12. Slade, Margaret E., 2019. "Vertical Mergers: Ex Post Evidence and Ex Ante Evaluation Methods," Microeconomics.ca working papers margaret_e._slade-2019-10, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Jun 2019.
    13. Pavan, Giulia, 2017. "Green Car Adoption and the Supply of Alternative Fuels," TSE Working Papers 17-875, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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