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The Insiders’ Dilemma: An Experiment on Merger Formation

  • Tobias Lindqvist


  • Johan Stennek


This paper tests the insiders’ dilemma hypothesis in a laboratory experiment. The insiders’ dilemma means that a profitable merger does not occur, because it is even more profitable for each firm to unilaterally stand as an outsider (Stigler, 1950; Kamien and Zang, 1990, 1993). The experimental data provides support for the insiders’ dilemma, and thereby for endogenous rather than exogenous merger theory. More surprisingly, our data suggests that fairness (or relative performance) considerations also make profitable mergers difficult. Mergers that should occur in equilibrium do not, since they require an unequal split of surplus. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Article provided by Springer & Economic Science Association in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 267-284

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:8:y:2005:i:3:p:267-284
DOI: 10.1007/s10683-005-1466-7
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  1. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1990. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 465-499.
  2. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2005. "Hold-up of anti-competitive mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 753-775, December.
  3. Armando Gomes, . "A Theory of Negotiation and Formation of Coalition," CARESS Working Papres 99-12, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. 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.
  5. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2000. "Why Event Studies Do Not Detect Anti-Competitive Mergers," Working Paper Series 542, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Szidarovszky, F. & Yakowitz, S., 1982. "Contributions to Cournot oligopoly theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-70, October.
  8. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1998. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," Industrial Organization 9803004, EconWPA.
  9. 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.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. repec:hhs:iuiwop:542 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
  14. Persson, Lars & Horn, Henrik, 1998. "Endogenous Mergers in Concentrated Markets," Working Paper Series 513, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  15. Davis, Douglas D., 2002. "Strategic interactions, market information and predicting the effects of mergers in differentiated product markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1277-1312, November.
  16. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
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