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Mergers under Asymmetric Information – Is there a Lemons Problem?

  • Thomas Borek
  • Stefan Buehler

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

  • Armin Schmutzler

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

We analyze a Bayesian merger game under two-sided asymmetric information about firm types. We show that the standard prediction of the lemons market model–if any, only low-type firms are traded–is likely to be misleading: Merger returns, i.e. the difference between pre- and post-merger profits, are not necessarily higher for low-type firms. This has two implications. First, under very general conditions, equilibria exist where mergers take place, and there is no presumption that there is ineffciently low trade. Second, in these equilibria it is typically not the case that only low-type firms enter an agreement.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2004/wp0408.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0408.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0408
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  1. 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.
  2. Hviid, Morten & Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "Merger Failure and Merger Profitability," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 371-86, December.
  3. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-89, July.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  5. Borek, Thomas & Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Weddings with Uncertain Prospects - Mergers under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Barros, Pedro Pita, 1998. "Endogenous mergers and size asymmetry of merger participants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 113-119, July.
  7. Ravenscraft, David J. & Scherer, F. M., 1989. "The profitability of mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 101-116, March.
  8. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G. & Ruback, Richard S., 1992. "Does corporate performance improve after mergers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 135-175, April.
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