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Private and Public Incentives for Mergers in the Face of Foreign Entry

  • Ryan Fang
  • Martin Richardson

We consider private and public incentives for domestic firms to merge in the face of foreign entry. We consider the gains to two merging firms and to national welfare in a linear Cournot model. With heterogeneous firms and possible synergies, greater foreign entry tends to enhance both private and public incentives for domestic mergers. Thus, policymakers have no cause to doubt the intentions of firms seeking to merge: when it is in the firms' interests then it is also in the public interest. However, at least for certain parameterisations, private gains from mergers become positive at a lower level of foreign entry than do public gains. This suggests that private firms may have an incentive to overstate the degree of foreign competition they anticipate facing-for example, after liberalizing foreign investment rules-to persuade policymakers that a proposed domestic merger is in the national interest. Copyright (C) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): s1 (08)
Pages: 520-532

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:14:y:2010:i:s1:p:520-532
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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-26, March.
  2. Horn, Henrik & Levinsohn, James, 2001. "Merger Policies and Trade Liberalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 244-76, April.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  4. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-27, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Barros, Pedro P. & Cabral, Luis, 1994. "Merger policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1041-1055, May.
  7. Rod Falvey, 1998. "Mergers in Open Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(8), pages 1061-1076, November.
  8. Richardson, Martin, 1999. "Trade and Competition Policies: Concordia Discors?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 649-64, October.
  9. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
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