nep-ind New Economics Papers
on Industrial Organization
Issue of 2006‒11‒25
seven papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Horizontal Mergers with Free Entry in Differentiated Oligopolies By Nisvan Erkal; Daniel Piccinin
  2. Choice of new attributes in the "Elimination by Aspects" duopoly. By Reynald-Alexandre Laurent
  3. Advertising in Duopoly Market By Situngkir, Hokky
  4. Price Discrimination in Input Markets By Roman Inderst; Tommaso Valletti
  5. Merger Clusters during Economic Booms By Albert Banal-Estañol; Paul Heidhues; Rainer Nitsche; Jo Seldeslachts
  6. Barriers to Retail Competition and Prices: Evidence from Spain By Alexander W. Hoffmaister
  7. Subsidized Monopolists and Product Prices: The Case of Major League Baseball By Phillip Miller

  1. By: Nisvan Erkal; Daniel Piccinin
    Abstract: Antitrust authorities view the possibility of entry as a key determinant of whether a proposed merger will be harmful to society. This paper examines the effects of horizontal mergers in models of non-localized, differentiated Bertrand oligopoly that allow for free entry. The analysis of the long run effects of mergers in differentiated products markets raises issues that are significantly different from those in the short run or in homogeneous products markets due to the introduction of new varieties. Our analysis reveals that determining the properties of consumer preferences is crucial to the antitrust analysis of mergers in differentiated products markets. Specifically, we show that if the demand system satisfies the Independence from Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA) property and if the number of firms is treated as a continuous variable, mergers in differentiated products markets have no long run effect on consumer welfare. Moreover, in this case, marginal cost savings are to a large extent irrelevant to the consumer welfare effects of mergers. If the number of firms is treated as a discrete variable, fixed or marginal cost savings are a necessary condition for mergers to have zero or positive effect on consumer welfare. Using the example of linear demand, we show that if the demand system does not satisfy the IIA property, mergers in differentiated products markets can harm consumer welfare in long run equilibrium. Moreover, the amount of harm increases with consumers’ taste for variety.
    Keywords: Horizontal mergers; free entry; product differentiation; independence from irrelevant alternatives; antitrust policy
    JEL: L13 L22 L41 K21
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Reynald-Alexandre Laurent
    Abstract: The "Elimination by aspects" (EBA) duopoly of product differentiation (Laurent, 2006a) was constructed from the discrete model of probabilistic choice worked out by Tversky (1972a,b). In this framework, an unique price equilibrium exists with a "differentiation by attributes", which embodies horizontal and vertical differentiations as possible special cases. This paper extends this analysis by studying a two-stage game in which firms choose the specific attributes of their product and then compete in prices. At the price equilibrium, the "competitive effect", present in pure vertical differentiation models, is replaced by a "differentiation effect" in this EBA duopoly. Subgame perfect Nash equilibria are shown to exist with exogenous costs but also with attributes-dependent unit and fixed costs. At the equilibrium, products are generally differentiated both horizontally and vertically. But a purely vertical outcome may also occur when costs of innovation are strongly convex or when consumers are very sensible to the price levels. When costs are endogenous, the social optimum is achieved for a pure horizontal differentiation. Thus, there is too much differentiation at the equilibrium: the vertical dimension induces a strong raise of prices, which also reduces the welfare.
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Situngkir, Hokky
    Abstract: The paper presents the dynamics of consumer preferences over two competing products acting in duopoly market. The model presented compared the majority and minority rules as well as the modified Snazjd model in the Von Neumann neighborhood. We showed how important advertising in marketing a product is. We show that advertising should also consider the social structure simultaneously with the content of the advertisement and the understanding to the advertised product. Some theoretical explorations are discussed regarding to size of the market, evaluation of effect of the advertising, the types of the advertised products, and the social structure of which the product is marketed. We also draw some illustrative models to be improved as a further work.
    Keywords: advertising; snazjd model; majority model; duopoly market.
    JEL: M31 M37 C63
    Date: 2006–11–10
  4. By: Roman Inderst (London School of Economics & Political Science); Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College London, University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and CEPR)
    Abstract: We analyze the short- and long-run implications of third-degree price discrimination in input markets where downstream firms differ in their efficiency. In contrast to the extant literature, where the supplier is typically an unconstrained monopolist, in our model input prices are constrained by the potential for demand-side substitution. This modification has far-reaching consequences. We show that more efficient firms receive lower input prices under price discrimination, and that the imposition of uniform pricing could stifle incentives to reduce own marginal costs. If downstream firms compete in the same market, we also find a waterbed effect, in that a reduction in a firm's own marginal costs not only reduces its own input price, but increases the input price of its competitors.
    Keywords: Price Discrimination, Uniform Pricing, Input Market
    JEL: K21 L13 L42
    Date: 2006–07–01
  5. By: Albert Banal-Estañol; Paul Heidhues; Rainer Nitsche; Jo Seldeslachts
    Abstract: Merger activity is intense during economic booms and subdued during recessions. This paper provides a non-financial explanation for this observable pattern. We construct a model in which the target-by setting the takeover price-screens the acquirer on his (expected) ability to realize synergy gains when merging. In an economic boom, it is less profitable to sort out relatively "bad fit" acquirers, leading to a hike in merger activity. Although positive economic shocks produce expected gains at the time of merging, these mergers turn out to be less efficient in the long term-a finding that is broadly consistent with the existing empirical evidence. Furthermore, again because of the absence of boom-time screening, the more efficient acquirers earn higher merger profits during "merger waves" than outside of waves, which is also in line with empirical evidence. <br> <br> <i>ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Fusionscluster in Boomphasen) <br>In Zeiten wirtschaftlicher Hochkonjunktur ist die Zahl der Firmenzusammenschlüsse hoch, in Rezessionszeiten eher niedrig. Dieser Aufsatz gibt eine Erklärung für diese Beobachtung, die nicht auf rein finanzwirtschaftlichen Faktoren beruht. <br> Im vorgestellten Modell ha das Unternehmen, welches übernommen wird, die Möglichkeit, den Übernahmepreis festzulegen und kann damit auch die übernehmende Firma auswählen. Das Auswahlkriterium sind die erwarteten Synergiegewinne im Falle einer Fusion, die für eine gute Passung der beiden fusionierenden Unternehmen sprechen. In Phasen der Hochkonjunktur ist es allerdings für Unternehmen generell interessant, zu fusionieren, und es wird relativ weniger profitabel, großen Auswahlaufwand zu treiben, um schlecht passende Fusionspartner auszusortieren und eventuell gar keinen Fusionspartner zu finden. Daher kommt es in diesen Zeiten zu mehr Fusionen als in anderen Konjunkturphasen, die als Fusionswellen bezeichnet werden. Zum Zeitpunkt der Fusion lassen sich auch die erwarteten Gewinne durch die günstige ökonomische Gesamtsituation realisieren. Im weiteren Verlauf stellen sich jedoch solche Fusionen mit schlecht passenden Partnern als wenig effizient heraus-was auch empirische Analysen bestätigt haben. <br> Darüber hinaus zeigt das Modell, dass-wiederum wegen der fehlenden Auswahlprozedur in Boomphasen-die effizienteren Fusionspartner während Fusionswellen höhere Gewinne machen als außerhalb von Fusionswellen. Dies ist zuvor bereits empirisch beobachtet worden.</i>
    Keywords: Mergers, Merger Waves, Screening
    JEL: D21 D80 L11
    Date: 2006–09
  6. By: Alexander W. Hoffmaister
    Abstract: Why do prices in Spain's regions fail to converge? The prime suspects for this puzzling result are differences in regional barriers to entry in retail distribution. This paper develops a Cournot-Nash model of imperfect competition to illustrate the effect of barriers on prices. A unique data set-derived from an extensive analysis of competition policies in Spain- provides evidence that barriers to entry increase regional prices. The evidence also suggests that, consistent with the model's predictions, barriers to entry raise prices up to a point, and thus indicate that barriers have a threshold effect on prices.
    Keywords: Barriers to entry , Cournot-Nash model , regulation in goods markets , and panel cointegration ,
    Date: 2006–10–20
  7. By: Phillip Miller (Department of Economics, Minnesota State University)
    Abstract: In this paper, I analyze the setting of ticket prices when teams receive subsidization from the public. I model teams as entertainment providers, where entertainment is generated by selling wins and amenities. I argue that subsidization of teams generally comes from subsidizing the amenities in and surrounding the teams’ stadiums. Subsidization of the amenities lowers the marginal cost of providing them to fans and should drive ticket prices lower. The empirical analysis suggests that this is the case.
    Keywords: Sports, Baseball
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2006–11

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