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Mergers and Government Policy

Author

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  • Margarita Sapozhnikov

    (Boston College)

Abstract

It has long been thought that government antitrust policy has an effect on aggregate merger and acquisition activity, but the empirical support for this hypothesis has been weak and inconsistent. This paper uses a new empirical specification and a new dataset on mergers and acquisitions to provide support for this conjecture. Regression analysis shows that government policy has a significant influence on mergers and that the nature of the effects depends on the type of merger. Fitting the time series into a two-state Markov switching model shows that conglomerate and horizontal time series fol low different dynamics for the last half century, which is most likely caused by the dissimilar treatment of the two types of merger by the government. Only the conglomerate merger and acquisition time series is well described by a two-state Markov switching model. In contrast, the horizontal time series has a break in the early 1980s that may be attributed to the dramatic change in government policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Margarita Sapozhnikov, 2006. "Mergers and Government Policy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 656, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:656
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Devra L. Golbe & Lawrence J. White, 1988. "A Time-Series Analysis of Mergers and Acquisitions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 265-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barkoulas, John T. & Baum, Christopher F. & Chakraborty, Atreya, 2001. "Waves and persistence in merger and acquisition activity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 237-243, February.
    3. Michael Gort, 1969. "An Economic Disturbance Theory of Mergers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 624-642.
    4. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
    5. Bittlingmayer, George, 1985. "Did Antitrust Policy Cause the Great Merger Wave?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 77-118, April.
    6. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Antitrust enforcement; mergers and acquisitions; time series models; Markov switching;

    JEL classification:

    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General

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