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A Random Coefficients Logit Analysis of the Counterfactual: A Merger and Divestiture in the Australian Cigarette Industry


  • Vivienne Pham

    () (School Economics, La Trobe University)

  • David Prentice

    () (School of Economics, La Trobe University)


In this paper we empirically analyse two counterfactual situations facing an antitrust au- thority following the merger of two of the largest international cigarette companies. First we estimate a random coecients model of demand for cigarettes. The implied elasticity of demand for smoking and implied marginal costs are consistent with the independent estimates available. We then use the model to simulate the proposed merger and the partial divesti- ture that was accepted by the Australian antitrust authority. A comparison of the relative price changes predicted by the divestiture simulation with the actual post-divestiture price changes shows that the model is partially successful in predicting the ranking of price changes across companies following the divestiture. This suggests structural econometric analysis us- ing a random coecients model can provide information for antitrust authorities assessing the implications of a potential merger and partial divestiture.

Suggested Citation

  • Vivienne Pham & David Prentice, 2013. "A Random Coefficients Logit Analysis of the Counterfactual: A Merger and Divestiture in the Australian Cigarette Industry," Working Papers 2013.04, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2013.04
    Note: ISSN-1837-2198

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jith Jayaratne & Carl Shapiro, 2000. "Simulating Partial Asset Divestitures to 'Fix' Mergers," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 179-200.
    2. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2010. "Merger Simulation In Competition Policy: A Survey," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 277-319.
    3. John Tauras & Richard Peck & Frank Chaloupka, 2006. "The Role of Retail Prices and Promotions in Determining Cigarette Brand Market Shares," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 28(3), pages 253-284, May.
    4. Victor Aguirregabiria & Victor Aguirregabiria & Aviv Nevo & Aviv Nevo, 2010. "Recent Developments in Empirical IO: Dynamic Demand and Dynamic Games," Working Papers tecipa-419, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    5. Vivienne Pham & David Prentice, 2010. "An empirical Analysis of the Counter-factual: A Merger and Divestiture in the Australian Cigarette Industry," Working Papers 2010.08, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    6. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    7. Dongling Huang & Christian Rojas & Frank Bass, 2008. "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DEMAND IS ESTIMATED WITH A MISSPECIFIED MODEL? -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 809-839, December.
    8. Romahn, André & Friberg, Richard, 2012. "Ex-Post Merger Review and Divestitures," IESE Research Papers D/1056, IESE Business School.
    9. Cohen, Andrew, 2008. "Package size and price discrimination in the paper towel market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 502-516, March.
    10. Igal Hendel, 1999. "Estimating Multiple-Discrete Choice Models: An Application to Computerization Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 423-446.
    11. Harry Clarke & David Prentice, 2012. "Will Plain Packaging Reduce Cigarette Consumption?," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 31(3), pages 303-317, September.
    12. Philip Crooke & Luke Froeb & Steven Tschantz & Gregory Werden, 1999. "Effects of Assumed Demand Form on Simulated Postmerger Equilibria," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 15(3), pages 205-217, November.
    13. Peters, Craig, 2006. "Evaluating the Performance of Merger Simulation: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 627-649, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Friberg, Richard & Romahn, André, 2015. "Divestiture requirements as a tool for competition policy: A case from the Swedish beer market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-18.

    More about this item


    mergers; divestitures; cigarettes; tobacco; anti-trust policy; competition policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco

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