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Do Mergers Lead to Monopoly in the Long Run? Results from the Dominant Firm Model

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  • Gautam Gowrisankaran
  • Thomas J. Holmes

Abstract

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 factor 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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  • Gautam Gowrisankaran & Thomas J. Holmes, 2002. "Do Mergers Lead to Monopoly in the Long Run? Results from the Dominant Firm Model," NBER Working Papers 9151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9151
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morton I. Kamien & Israel Zang, 1987. "The Limits of Monopolization Through Acquisition," Discussion Papers 754, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
    3. 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.
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    5. Kwang Soo Cheong & Kenneth L Judd, 1997. "Mergers and Dynamic Oligopoly," Working Papers 199714, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    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 219-227, 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 549-569, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Judd, Kenneth L. & Petersen, Bruce C., 1986. "Dynamic limit pricing and internal finance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 368-399, August.
    10. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
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    12. Kydland, Finn, 1979. " A Dynamic Dominant Firm Model of Industry Structure," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(3), pages 355-366.
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    Cited by:

    1. Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo & Nicol? Porteiro, 2002. "Sequential Formation of Coalitions through Bilateral Agreements," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 515.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    2. Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo & Nicolás Porteiro, 2006. "Sequential Formation of Coalitions Through Bilateral Agreements in a Cournot Setting," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(2), pages 207-228, August.
    3. Snellman, Heli, 2006. "Automated teller machine network market structure and cash usage," Scientific Monographs, Bank of Finland, number 2006_038, January.
    4. Atallah, Gamal, 2007. "Monopolization through endogenous vertical mergers," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 99-104, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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