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When is concentration beneficial? Evidence from U.S. manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Rigoberto A. López

    () (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Conneticut.)

  • Elena López

    () (Departamento de Economía , Universidad de Alcalá.)

  • Carmen Liron-Espana

    (System Planning, ISO-NE.)

Abstract

This article estimates the impact of industrial concentration on market power and cost and then links the ensuing welfare changes to market structure characteristics using a sample of 232 U.S. manufacturing industries. Empirical results indicate that further increases in concentration would enhance welfare in 70% of the industries due to widespread efficiency gains, although these would generally not be passed on to consumers. From a social standpoint, further concentration is more likely to be beneficial in industries with economies of size, high export intensity, which are engaged in consumer-oriented goods, face larger markets, and have low or moderate levels of initial concentration.

Suggested Citation

  • Rigoberto A. López & Elena López & Carmen Liron-Espana, 2009. "When is concentration beneficial? Evidence from U.S. manufacturing," Alcamentos 0901, Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Economía..
  • Handle: RePEc:alc:alcamo:0901
    as

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    File URL: http://dspace.uah.es/dspace/bitstream/handle/10017/2405/Alcamentos0901.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rigoberto A. Lopez & Elena Lopez, 2003. "The impact of imports on price-cost margins: An empirical illustration," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 403-416, April.
    2. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1998. "The Efficiency Cost Of Market Power In The Banking Industry: A Test Of The "Quiet Life" And Related Hypotheses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 454-465, August.
    3. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
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    5. Stalhammar, Nils-Olov, 1991. "Domestic market power and foreign trade : The case of Sweden," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 407-424, September.
    6. Cowling, Keith & Waterson, Michael, 1976. "Price-Cost Margins and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 267-274, August.
    7. Rigoberto Lopez & Azzeddine Azzam & Carmen Lirón-España, 2002. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: A Structural Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(2), pages 115-126, March.
    8. Clarke, Roger & Davies, Stephen W, 1982. "Market Structure and Price-Cost Margins," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(195), pages 277-287, August.
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    12. Dario Focarelli & Fabio Panetta, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Market for Bank Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1152-1172, September.
    13. Azzam, Azzeddine M, 1997. "Measuring Market Power and Cost-Efficiency Effects of Industrial Concentration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 377-386, December.
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    15. Dickson, V. A. & Yu, Weiqiu, 1989. "Welfare losses in Canadian manufacturing under alternative oligopoly regimes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 257-267, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Concentration; welfare; economies of size; market power; manufacturing;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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