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The Insiders' Dilemma: An Experiment on Merger Formation

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  • Lindqvist, Tobias
  • Stennek, Johan

Abstract

This paper tests the insiders’ dilemma hypothesis in a laboratory experiment. The insiders’ dilemma means that a profitable merger does not occur, because it is even more profitable for each firm to unilaterally stand as an outsider (Stigler, 1950; Kamien and Zang, 1990 and 1993). The experimental data provides support for the insiders’ dilemma, and thereby for endogenous rather than exogenous merger theory. More surprisingly, our data suggests that fairness (or relative performance) considerations also make profitable mergers difficult. Mergers that should occur in equilibrium do not, since they require an unequal split of surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindqvist, Tobias & Stennek, Johan, 2005. "The Insiders' Dilemma: An Experiment on Merger Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5016
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    4. Armando Gomes, "undated". "A Theory of Negotiations and Formation of Coalitions," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    5. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 1991. "Competitively cost advantageous mergers and monopolization," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 323-338, August.
    6. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Stennek, Johan, 2005. "Hold-up of anti-competitive mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 753-775, December.
    7. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-227, March.
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    11. Szidarovszky, F. & Yakowitz, S., 1982. "Contributions to Cournot oligopoly theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-70, October.
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    14. repec:hhs:iuiwop:542 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Granier, Laurent & Podesta, Marion, 2010. "Bundling and Mergers in Energy Markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1316-1324, November.
    2. Jose Apesteguia & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2007. "Blowing the Whistle," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 143-166, April.
    3. Walter Ferrarese, 2020. "When Multiple Merged Entities Lead in Stackelberg Oligopolies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 56(1), pages 131-142, February.
    4. James Gaisford & Stefan Lutz, 2007. "A Multi-Product Framework Generating Waves of Mergers and Divestitures," ICER Working Papers 36-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    5. Jan Potters & Sigrid Suetens, 2013. "Oligopoly Experiments In The Current Millennium," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 439-460, July.
    6. Berardino Cesi, 2010. "Horizontal Mergers: A Solution Of The Insiders' Dilemma," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 171-180, April.
    7. Lindqvist, Tobias, 2004. "Mergers by Partial Acquisition," Working Paper Series 630, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Darai, D. & Roux, C. & Schneider, F., 2019. "Mergers, Mavericks, and Tacit Collusion," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1984, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. Fumagalli, Eileen & Nilssen, Tore, 2008. "Waiting to Merge," Memorandum 13/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    antitrust; coalition formation; experiment; insiders' dilemma; mergers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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