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Merger Policies and Trade Liberalization

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  • Henrik Horn
  • James Levinsohn

Abstract

This paper is about the interactions between what is traditionally considered trade policy and a narrow but important aspect of competition policy, namely merger policy. We focus on links between merger policies and trade liberalization. We put special emphasis on the topical issue of the role that international agreements such as the GATT play when merger policies are nationally chosen. Of particular concern is the possibility that liberalization of international trade will induce countries to increasingly use competition policies to promote national interests at the expense of others. We examine the incentives for a welfare maximizing government to make such a substitution. Interpreting merger policy as a choice of degree of industrial concentration, we investigate how the merger policy that is optimal from the point of view of an individual country is affected by restrictions on the use of tariffs and export subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Henrik Horn & James Levinsohn, 1997. "Merger Policies and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Lloyd & Gary Sampson, 1995. "Competition and Trade Policy: Identifying the Issues After the Uruguay Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 681-705, September.
    2. Bernard M. Hoekman & Petros C. Mavroidis, 1994. "Competition, Competition Policy and the GATT," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 121-150, March.
    3. Richardson, Martin, 1999. "Trade and Competition Policies: Concordia Discors?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 649-664, October.
    4. Auquier, A A & Caves, R E, 1979. "Monopolistic Export Industries, Trade Taxes, and Optimal Competition Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(355), pages 559-581, September.
    5. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 2001. "Endogenous mergers in concentrated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1213-1244, September.
    6. Dixit, Avinash, 1984. "International Trade Policy for Oligopolistic Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
    7. Joseph F. Francois & Henrik Horn, 1998. "Competition Policy in an Open Economy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-092/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Gatsios, Konstantine & Seabright, Paul, 1989. "Regulation in the European Community," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 37-60, Summer.
    9. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
    10. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
    11. Damien NEVEN & Paul SEABRIGHT, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and the Co-ordination of Competition Policy," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9503, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    12. Barros, Pedro P. & Cabral, Luis, 1994. "Merger policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1041-1055, May.
    13. 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.
    14. Massimo Motta & Fabrizio Onida, 1997. "Trade Policy and Competition Policy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 56(1-2), pages 67-97, June.
    15. Neven, Damien J, 1992. "Regulatory Reform in the European Community," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 98-103, May.
    16. Keith Head & John Ries, 1997. "International Mergers and Welfare under Decentralized Competition Policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 1104-1123, November.
    17. Mark Rysman, 2000. "Competition Policy as Strategic Trade," Papers 0100, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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