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Concentration change in selected food manufacturing industries: The influence of mergers vs. internal growth


  • Bruce W. Marion

    (Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Donghwan Kim

    (Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Concentration of sales among the leading manufacturers changed sharply in some relatively undifferentiated food processing industries in the 1980s. In six industries examined, CR 4 increased 23 points, on average, from 1977 to 1988. Mergers accounted for virtually all of the concentration increase in three, and roughly half of the increase in the other three. Overall, internal growth accounted for about one-third of the increase in concentration in the six industries. The relaxation of antitrust enforcement during the 1980s likely encouraged several large horizontal mergers that significantly increased concentration in these industries. At least seven mergers appear to have violated the Dept. of Justice Merger Guidelines of 1984.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce W. Marion & Donghwan Kim, 1991. "Concentration change in selected food manufacturing industries: The influence of mergers vs. internal growth," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 415-431.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:7:y:1991:i:5:p:415-431 DOI: 10.1002/1520-6297(199109)7:5<415::AID-AGR2720070502>3.0.CO;2-R

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 707-722.
    2. Krugman, Paul R., 1989. "Industrial organization and international trade," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1179-1223 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard T. Rogers, 2001. "Structural change in U.S. food manufacturing, 1958-1997," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 3-32.
    2. repec:zbw:espost:157787 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Schwartz, Lisa A. & Willett, Lois Schertz, 1994. "Price Transmission Theory And Applications To Agroindustry: An Annotated Bibliography," Research Bulletins 123003, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. Azzam, Azzeddine M., 1998. "Competition in the US meatpacking industry: is it history?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 107-126, March.
    5. Declerck, Francis, 2016. "Mergers & Acquisitions in the Food Business: How did the 2002 and 2008/2009 Economic Crises Impact Corporate Valuation?," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 7(3).
    6. Adesoji Adelaja & Rodolfo Nayga & Zafar Farooq, 1999. "Predicting mergers and acquisitions in the food industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 1-23.
    7. repec:zbw:esthes:157992 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ward, Clement E., 2002. "A Review of Causes for and Consequences of Economic Concentration in the U.S. Meatpacking Industry," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 03.
    9. Ding, John Y. & Caswell, Julie A. & Zhou, Furen, 1997. "Relatedness And Performance: A Reexamination Of The Diversification-Performance Link," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 28(1), February.
    10. Michael Boehlje & Jay Akridge & Dave Downey, 1995. "Restructuring agribusiness for the 21st century," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 493-500.
    11. Azzam, Azzeddine M., 1998. "Invited Paper: Competition in the US meatpacking industry: is it history?," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 18(2), March.
    12. Brent Berry & Taralyn McMullen, 2008. "Visual communication to children in the supermarket context: Health protective or exploitive?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(3), pages 333-348, September.
    13. Scoppola, Margherita, 1995. "Multinationals and agricultural policy in the EC and USA," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 11-25, February.

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