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Long-Run Effects of Mergers: The Case of U.S. Western Railroads

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  • Clifford Winston
  • Vikram Maheshri
  • Scott M. Dennis

Abstract

We provide a retrospective assessment of the effects of the two recent major railroad mergers in the western United States (Burlington Northern-Atchison-Topeka-Santa Fe and Union Pacific-Southern Pacific) on the price of rail transport of export grain. Estimation accounts for selectivity bias that arises because rail prices are observed only for routes with traffic. Despite concerns that both mergers could harm consumers by reducing carrier competition, we find that, in the long run, the mergers have had negligible effects on grain transportation prices and consumer welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Clifford Winston & Vikram Maheshri & Scott M. Dennis, 2011. "Long-Run Effects of Mergers: The Case of U.S. Western Railroads," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 275-304.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/655164
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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. Coublucq, Daniel, 2013. "Econometric analysis of productivity with measurement error: Empirical application to the US Railroad industry," DICE Discussion Papers 95, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    3. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
    4. T. Randolph Beard & Jeffrey Thomas Macher & Chris Vickers, 2016. "This Time is Different (?): Telecommunications Unbundling and Lessons for Railroad Regulation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(2), pages 289-310, September.
    5. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Daniel S. Hosken & Matthew C. Weinberg, 2013. "The Price Effects of a Large Merger of Manufacturers: A Case Study of Maytag-Whirlpool," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 239-261, February.
    6. Oliveira Cruz, Carlos & Miranda Sarmento, Joaquim, 2017. "Horizontal bundling of infrastructure managers: The case of Portugal Infrastructure Company (roads and railways)," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 99-103.
    7. Coublucq, Daniel, 2013. "Demand estimation with selection bias: A dynamic game approach with an application to the US railroad industry," DICE Discussion Papers 94, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    8. 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.
    9. Koski, Heli & Pajarinen, Mika, 2013. "Empirical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Competition Policy," ETLA Working Papers 15, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    10. Richard L. Schmalensee & Wesley W. Wilson, 2016. "Modernizing U.S. Freight Rail Regulation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(2), pages 133-159, September.

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