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The Price Effects of a Large Merger of Manufacturers: A Case Study of Maytag-Whirlpool

Author

Listed:
  • Orley C. Ashenfelter
  • Daniel S. Hosken
  • Matthew C. Weinberg

Abstract

Many experts speculate that US antitrust policy towards horizontal mergers has been too lenient. We estimate the price effects of Whirlpool's acquisition of Maytag to provide new evidence on this debate. We compare price changes in appliance markets most affected by the merger to markets where concentration changed much less or not at all. We estimate price increases for dishwashers and relatively large price increases for clothes dryers, but no price effects for refrigerators or clothes washers. The combined firm's market share fell across all four affected categories, and the number of distinct appliance products offered for sale fell. (JEL G34, K21, L11, L41, L68)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:239-61
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.1.239
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ambarish Chandra & Allan Collard-Wexler, 2009. "Mergers in Two-Sided Markets: An Application to the Canadian Newspaper Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 1045-1070, December.
    2. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 2001. "Rules, Communication, and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 379-398, June.
    3. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2001. "Do Mergers Increase Product Variety? Evidence from Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1009-1025.
    4. Jain, Satish (ed.), 2010. "Law and Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198067733.
    5. Clifford Winston & Vikram Maheshri & Scott M. Dennis, 2011. "Long-Run Effects of Mergers: The Case of U.S. Western Railroads," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 275-304.
    6. Philip Crooke & Luke Froeb & Steven Tschantz & Gregory Werden, 1999. "Effects of Assumed Demand Form on Simulated Postmerger Equilibria," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 15(3), pages 205-217, November.
    7. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L68 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Appliances; Furniture; Other Consumer Durables

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