IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On efficiency, concentration and welfare

  • BOCCARD, Nicolas

The welfare impact of a merger involves the market power offense and the efficiency defense. Salant et al. (1983) show that mergers among symmetric firms are unprofitable except for monopolization. We characterize the limit to this merger paradox in a simple linear Cournot oligopoly with asymmetric costs. Farrell and Shapiro (1990) provide sufficient conditions for a profitable merger to increase welfare but leave open whether it exists. We characterize the degree of cost asymmetry making a merger both profitable and socially desirable. Comparing rationalization and synergy within the efficiency defense, we show that for most industry structures, a rationalization merger is more likely to be welfare enhancing but a synergy merger is more likely to be profitable.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2009040.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009040
Contact details of provider: Postal: Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Phone: 32(10)474321
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hassan Benchekroun & Amrita Ray Chaudhuri, 2006. "Trade Liberalization and the Profitability of Mergers: a Global Analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 941-957, November.
  2. Banal-Estanol, Albert & Macho-Stadler, Ines & Seldeslachts, Jo, 2008. "Endogenous mergers and endogenous efficiency gains: The efficiency defence revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 69-91, January.
  3. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pesendorfer, Martin, 2003. " Horizontal Mergers in the Paper Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 495-515, Autumn.
  5. Greg Shaffer & Stephen W. Salant, 1999. "Unequal Treatment of Identical Agents in Cournot Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 585-604, June.
  6. Klaus Gugler & Dennis C. Mueller & B. Burcin Yurtoglu & Christine Zulehner, 2001. "The Effects of Mergers: An International Comparison," CIG Working Papers FS IV 01-21, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  7. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:4:p:1229-1257 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Whinston, Michael D., 2007. "Antitrust Policy toward Horizontal Mergers," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  10. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1988. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," Discussion Papers 802, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt96z174x1, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. Huck, S. & Konrad, K.A. & Müller, W., 2004. "Profitable horizontal mergers without cost advantage : The role of intenal organization, information and market structure," Other publications TiSEM 028203f3-7fb8-485a-9701-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  14. Neary, J Peter, 2004. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," CEPR Discussion Papers 4325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Cowling, Keith & Waterson, Michael, 1976. "Price-Cost Margins and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 267-74, August.
  16. Sam Peltzman, 1977. "The Gains and Losses From Industrial Concentration," NBER Working Papers 0163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Levin, D., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: The 50 Percent Bench-Mark," Papers 19, Houston - Department of Economics.
  18. William E. Kovacic & Carl Shapiro, 2003. "Antitrust Policy: A Century of Economic and Legal Thinking," Law and Economics 0303006, EconWPA.
  19. Fevrier, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2004. "Idiosyncratic shocks in an asymmetric Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 835-848, June.
  20. Klaus Gugler & Ralph Siebert, 2007. "Market Power versus Efficiency Effects of Mergers and Research Joint Ventures: Evidence from the Semiconductor Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 645-659, November.
  21. Motta, Massimo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2005. "Efficiency gains and myopic antitrust authority in a dynamic merger game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 777-801, December.
  22. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
  23. Spector, David, 2003. "Horizontal mergers, entry, and efficiency defences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1591-1600, December.
  24. Daughety, Andrew F, 1990. "Beneficial Concentration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1231-37, December.
  25. Davidson, Carl & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2007. "Horizontal mergers with free entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 157-172, February.
  26. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
  27. Steven Heubeck & Donald J. Smythe & Jingang Zhao, 2006. "A Note on the Welfare Effects of Horizontal Mergers in Asymmetric Linear Oligopolies," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 7(1), pages 29-47, May.
  28. Clarke, Roger & Davies, Stephen W, 1982. "Market Structure and Price-Cost Margins," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(195), pages 277-87, August.
  29. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:2:p:185-99 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009040. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alain GILLIS)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.