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Industry Trade-Balance and Domestic Merger Policy: Some Empirical Evidence from the U.S

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  • Joseph A. Clougherty

Abstract

The literature on antitrust in an open-economy setting is inconclusive with respect to the role played by trade-balance on the tenor of domestic merger policy. Using a panel data set composed of US merger reviews by industrial sector over the 1997-2001 period, I empirically test the impact of sectoral trade balance on the level of antitrust scrutiny. The results suggest that larger trade balances lead to more vigorous antitrust scrutiny; thus, ‘strategic’ merger policy does not appear evident, and consumer-surplus appears to guide US merger policy even under the lure of international competitive gains. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Empirische Evidenz über den Zusammenhang von Leistungsbilanz und Fusionspolitik in den U.S.A.) Die "anti-trust"-Literatur bezogen auf eine offene Volkswirtschaft sagt wenig dazu aus, welche Rolle die Leistungsbilanz für die Fusionspolitik eines Landes spielt. In diesem Papier wird anhand von Paneldaten, in denen die Berichte der Fusionskontrolle in unterschiedlichen Industrien der U.S.A. über einen Zeitraum von 1997-2001 zusammengestellt sind, empirisch getestet, welchen Effekt die Leistungsbilanzen - nach Industriezweigen unterteilt - auf das Niveau der "antitrust"- Kontrolle haben. Die Ergebnisse der Tests deuten an, dass mit größerem Leistungsbilanzgewicht auch eine strengere "anti-trust"-Kontrolle einhergeht. Folglich ist eine "strategische" Fusionspolitik der U.S.A. nicht zu erkennen. Stattdessen scheint die US-amerikanische Fusionspolitik stark vom Verbrauchernutzen geleitet zu sein, trotz der Verheißung internationaler Wettbewerbsvorteile.

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  • Joseph A. Clougherty, 2003. "Industry Trade-Balance and Domestic Merger Policy: Some Empirical Evidence from the U.S," CIG Working Papers SP II 2003-19, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  • Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2003-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Haufler & Søren Bo Nielsen, 2008. "Merger policy to promote 'global players'? A simple model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 517-545, July.
    2. Joseph Clougherty, 2010. "Competition Policy Trends and Economic Growth: Cross-National Empirical Evidence," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 111-127.
    3. Robert M. Feinberg & Kara M. Reynolds, 2009. "The Determinants of State-Level Antitrust Enforcement," Working Papers 2009-17, American University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Merger Policy; International Effects; Open Economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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