IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Endogenous horizontal mergers under cost uncertainty

  • Zhou, Wen
Registered author(s):

    This paper presents a study of endogenous horizontal mergers under cost uncertainty. Before knowing the exact values of their costs, firms decide sequentially whether or not to join a merger. After the merger decision is made, uncertainty is resolved and firms engage in Cournot competition with incomplete information about one another's costs. Due to production rationalization, the merged firms enjoy an advantage over non-merged firms in the sense that the merged firms' expected cost is lower. I show that mergers occur if and only if the uncertainty is large and that the larger the uncertainty, the greater the number of firms that will merge. Although a merger reduces competition and therefore hurts consumers, it improves productivity under cost uncertainty. I find that a merger increases social welfare whenever there are at least four firms in the industry before the merger.

    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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 903-912

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:26:y:2008:i:4:p:903-912
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1988. "Competitively Cost Advantageous Mergers and Monopolization," Discussion Papers 799, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:2:p:185-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. FRIDOLFSSON, Sven-Olof & STENNEK, Johan, 1999. "Why mergers reduce profits, and raise share prices: A theory of preemptive mergers," Working Papers 1999018, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    5. Levin, Dan, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: The 50-Percent Benchmark," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1238-45, December.
    6. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-26, March.
    7. Persson, Lars & Horn, Henrik, 1998. "Endogenous Mergers in Concentrated Markets," Working Paper Series 513, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Sylvie Thoron, 1998. "Formation of a Coalition-Proof Stable Cartel," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 63-76, February.
    9. Daughety, Andrew F, 1990. "Beneficial Concentration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1231-37, December.
    10. Lode Li, 1985. "Cournot Oligopoly with Information Sharing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 521-536, Winter.
    11. Xavier Vives, 1990. "Trade Association Disclosure Rules, Incentives to Share Information, and Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 409-430, Autumn.
    12. Kamien, Morton I & Zang, Israel, 1993. "Monopolization by Sequential Acquisition," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 205-29, October.
    13. Albert Banal-Esta?l, 2002. "Information-Sharing Implications of Horizontal Mergers," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 544.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    14. Raith, Michael, 1996. "A General Model of Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 260-288, October.
    15. Gaudet, Gerard & Salant, Stephen W., 1992. "Mergers of producers of perfect complements competing in price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 359-364, July.
    16. 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.
    17. Gaudet, Gerard & Salant, Stephen W., 1992. "Towards a theory of horizontal mergers," MPRA Paper 9875, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Javier M. López Cuñat & Miguel González-Maestre, 1999. "- Delegation And Mergers In Oligopoly," Working Papers. Serie AD 1999-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    19. Peter Cramton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1991. "Cartel Enforcement with Uncertainty About Costs," Papers of Peter Cramton 90ier, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
    20. Brito, Duarte, 2003. "Preemptive mergers under spatial competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1601-1622, December.
    21. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & JACQUEMIN, Alexis & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & WEYMARK, John A., . "On the stability of collusive price leadership," CORE Discussion Papers RP 522, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:105:y:1990:i:2:p:465-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Rodrigues, Vasco, 2001. "Endogenous mergers and market structure," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1245-1261, September.
    24. Hennessy, David A., 2000. "Cournot Oligopoly Conditions Under Which Any Horizontal Merger is Profitable," Staff General Research Papers 1699, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    25. Qiu, Larry D. & Zhou, Wen, 2006. "International mergers: Incentives and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 38-58, January.
    26. repec:oup:restud:v:53:y:1986:i:1:p:85-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:26:y:2008:i:4:p:903-912. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.