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Do mergers lead to monopoly in the long run? Results from the dominant firm model

  • Gautam Gowrisankaran
  • Thomas J. Holmes

Will an industry with no antitrust policy converge to monopoly, competition or somewhere in between? We analyze this question using a dynamic dominant firm model with rational agents, endogenous mergers and constant returns to scale production. We find that perfect competition and monopoly are always steady states of this model and that there may be other steady states with a dominant firm and a fringe co-existing. Mergers are likely only when supply is inelastic or demand is elastic, suggesting that the ability of a dominant firm to raise price through monopolization is limited. Additionally, as the discount rate increases, it becomes harder to monopolize the industry, because the dominant firm cannot commit to not raising prices in the future.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 264.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:264
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  1. Kwang Soo Cheong & Kenneth L Judd, 1997. "Mergers and Dynamic Oligopoly," Working Papers 199714, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Kamien, Morton I & Zang, Israel, 1990. "The Limits of Monopolization through Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 465-99, May.
  4. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  5. Holmes, Thomas J., 1996. "Can consumers benefit from a policy limiting the market share of a dominant firm?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, May.
  6. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-27, March.
  7. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, I: Overview and Quantity Competition with Large Fixed Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 549-69, May.
  8. Kwang-Soo Cheong, . "Mergers and Dynamic Oligopoly," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 126, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Kenneth L. Judd & Bruce C. Petersen, 1984. "Dynamic Limit Pricing and Internal Finance," Discussion Papers 603S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Gaskins, Darius Jr., 1971. "Dynamic limit pricing: Optimal pricing under threat of entry," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 306-322, September.
  11. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-88, June.
  12. Kydland, Finn, 1979. " A Dynamic Dominant Firm Model of Industry Structure," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(3), pages 355-66.
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