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On efficiency, concentration and welfare

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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File URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2009_40.pdf
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2009040.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2009
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009040
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  2. Pesendorfer, Martin, 2003. " Horizontal Mergers in the Paper Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 495-515, Autumn.
  3. Davidson, Carl & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2007. "Horizontal mergers with free entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 157-172, February.
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  7. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
  8. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 2000. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Economics Working Papers E00-291, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Levin, Dan, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: The 50-Percent Benchmark," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1238-1245, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Steffen Huck & Kai A. Konrad & Wieland Müller, 2004. "Profitable Horizontal Mergers without Cost Advantages: The Role of Internal Organization, Information and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(284), pages 575-587, November.
  14. Gugler, Klaus & Mueller, Dennis C. & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin & Zulehner, Christine, 2003. "The effects of mergers: an international comparison," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 625-653, May.
  15. Peltzman, Sam, 1977. "The Gains and Losses from Industrial Concentration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 229-263, October.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. J. Peter Neary, 2007. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1229-1257.
  20. 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.
  21. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
  22. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1990. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 465-499.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
  26. Daughety, Andrew F, 1990. "Beneficial Concentration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1231-1237, December.
  27. 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.
  28. Whinston, Michael D., 2007. "Antitrust Policy toward Horizontal Mergers," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
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