The Merger Paradox and why Aspiration Levels Let it Fail in the Laboratory
We study the merger paradox, a relative of Harsanyi's bargaining paradox, in an experiment. We examine bilateral mergers in experimental Cournot markets with initially three or four firms. Standard Cournot-Nash equilibrium predicts total outputs well. However, merged firms produce significantly more output than their competitors. As a result, mergers are not unprofitable. By analysing control treatments, we provide an explanation for these results based on the notion of aspiration levels, and show that the same logic also operates when a new firm enters a market. These results have some general consequences for adaptive play in changing environments. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 522 (07)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9AR, UK|
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/asp/journal.asp?ref=0013-0133|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2000.
"Why Mergers Reduce Profits, and Raise Share-Prices,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2357, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 1999. "Why Mergers Reduce Profits, and Raise Share Prices," Working Paper Series 511, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 03 Dec 2001.
- Craig Gallet, 2001. "The Gradual Response of Market Power to Mergers in the U.S. Steel Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 327-336, May.
- Stephen J. Mezias & Ya-Ru Chen & Patrice R. Murphy, 2002. "Aspiration-Level Adaptation in an American Financial Services Organization: A Field Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1285-1300, October.
- R. M. Cyert & James G. March, 1956. "Organizational Factors in the Theory of Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 44-64.
- Holt, Charles A, 1985. "An Experimental Test of the Consistent-Conjectures Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 314-25, June.
- M. Posch & A. Pichler & K. Sigmund, 1998. "The Efficiency of Adapting Aspiration Levels," Working Papers ir98103, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
- repec:oup:restud:v:47:y:1980:i:1:p:239-53 is not listed on IDEAS
- T. S. Breusch & A. R. Pagan, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 239-253.
- Ajeyo Banerjee & E. Woodrow Eckard, 1998. "Are Mega-Mergers Anticompetitive? Evidence from the First Great Merger Wave," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 803-827, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:522:p:1073-1095. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.