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Do mergers improve efficiency? Evidence from restructuring the US electric power sector

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  • Kwoka, John
  • Pollitt, Michael

Abstract

This paper analyses the performance impact of the merger wave which took place in the US electricity industry during the period 1994-2003. It does so by analyzing the impact on operating and total cost in electricity distribution. While there are past studies of efficiency and productivity effects, as well as of prices, profits, and other outcomes, this study differs in several ways. First, the database consists of many merging and non-merging firms, rather than only a few on which to base inferences. Second, all of these mergers arise in a single industry, greatly facilitating controlled comparison. Third, we have data on the several years of pre-merger and post-merger efficiency of the specific merging units, unlike virtually all past studies. Finally, we employ a powerful nonparametric technique--data envelopment analysis--to measure the efficiency of each operating unit. The results indicate that electricity mergers are not consistent with improved cost performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Kwoka, John & Pollitt, Michael, 2010. "Do mergers improve efficiency? Evidence from restructuring the US electric power sector," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 645-656, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:6:p:645-656
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brito, Duarte & Pereira, Pedro & Ramalho, Joaquim J.S., 2013. "Mergers, coordinated effects and efficiency in the Portuguese non-life insurance industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 554-568.
    2. Goncharuk, Anatoliy G. & Storto, Corrado lo, 2017. "Challenges and policy implications of gas reform in Italy and Ukraine: Evidence from a benchmarking analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 456-466.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:258-277 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Peyrache, Antonio, 2013. "Industry structural inefficiency and potential gains from mergers and break-ups: A comprehensive approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 230(2), pages 422-430.
    5. repec:eee:ejores:v:263:y:2017:i:3:p:1095-1108 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Saastamoinen, Antti & Bjørndal, Endre & Bjørndal, Mette, 2017. "Specification of merger gains in the Norwegian electricity distribution industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 96-107.
    7. Ralph Sonenshine, 2016. "Effect of Utility Deregulation and Mergers on Consumer Welfare," Working Papers 2016-08, American University, Department of Economics.
    8. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Yuan, Yan & Goto, Mika, 2017. "A literature study for DEA applied to energy and environment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 104-124.
    9. TEUSCH, Jonas, 2016. "Merger Incentives Under Yardstick Competition : a Theoretical Model," CORE Discussion Papers 2016037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Hampf, Benjamin, 2016. "Rational Inefficiency, Adjustment Costs and Sequential Technologies," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145796, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Mahelet G. Fikru & Matt Insall, 2016. "Is it more profitable to acquire cleaner or dirtier firms?," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(4), pages 443-457, October.
    12. Pollitt, Michael G., 2012. "The role of policy in energy transitions: Lessons from the energy liberalisation era," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 128-137.
    13. Kamiński, Jacek, 2014. "A blocked takeover in the Polish power sector: A model-based analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 42-52.
    14. repec:kap:jproda:v:48:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11123-017-0501-y is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:spr:empeco:v:52:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1104-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Paul Nillesen & Michael Pollitt, 2011. "Ownership Unbundling in Electricity Distribution: Empirical Evidence from New Zealand," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 38(1), pages 61-93, January.
    17. Kishimoto, Jo & Goto, Mika & Inoue, Kotaro, 2017. "Do acquisitions by electric utility companies create value? Evidence from deregulated markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 212-224.
    18. Evgenii Monastyrenko, 2016. "Cross-Border M&As and Eco-Environmental Performance of European Energy Utilities," FIW Working Paper series 169, FIW.
    19. Raffaele Fiocco & Dongyu Guo, 2015. "Mergers between regulated firms with unknown efficiency gains," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 19(4), pages 299-326, December.
    20. Saastamoinen, Antti & Bjørndal, Endre & Bjørndal, Mette, 2016. "Specification of merger gains in the Norwegian electricity distribution industry," Discussion Papers 2016/7, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    21. Rana M. Airout, 2017. "The Impact of Consolidation Industrial Jordanian Companies on Profitability and Liquidity Ratios," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 10(4), pages 183-190, April.
    22. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(S3), pages 67-100.
    23. Stephen Fyfe & Mark Garner & George Vegh, 2013. "Mergers by Choice, Not Edict: Reforming Ontario's Electricity Distribution Policy," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 376, March.
    24. Yoo, Kyungjin & Lee, Youah & Heo, Eunnyeong, 2013. "Economic effects by merger and acquisition types in the renewable energy sector: An event study approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 694-701.

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