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Uncertainty and Horizontal Mergers

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  • Kojun Hamada

Abstract

We examine the effect of uncertainty on horizontal mergers, considering that firms must decide whether to merge before observing the realized cost of the merged firm. The existing literature clarifies that merging firms facing cost uncertainty decide to merge if expected efficiency gains or informational advantages are positive. We show that even in the absence of uncertain efficiency gains or losses in expected terms, as the variance of uncertainty grows, horizontal mergers generate larger expected profits than before the merger and improve consumer surplus and welfare in expected terms. Our findings suggest that increased uncertainty itself provides an incentive for firms to merge.

Suggested Citation

  • Kojun Hamada, 2012. "Uncertainty and Horizontal Mergers," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(2), pages 252-265, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201206)168:2_252:uahm_2.0.tx_2-o
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amir, Rabah & Diamantoudi, Effrosyni & Xue, Licun, 2009. "Merger performance under uncertain efficiency gains," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 264-273, March.
    2. Stennek Johan, 2003. "Horizontal Mergers Without Synergies May Increase Consumer Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-14, January.
    3. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Choné, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2008. "Assessing horizontal mergers under uncertain efficiency gains," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 913-929, July.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Le Pape, Nicolas & Zhao, Kai, 2014. "Horizontal mergers and uncertainty," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-31.
    2. Petrakis, Emmanuel & Moreno Ruiz, Diego & Manasakis, C. & Cabolis, C., 2016. "R&D investments fostering horizontal mergers," UC3M Working papers. Economics 23280, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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