nep-ind New Economics Papers
on Industrial Organization
Issue of 2009‒12‒05
six papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Competition, Reputation and Compliance By P. Vanin
  2. Competition Policy Trends and Economic Growth: Cross-National Empirical Evidence By Joseph A. Clougherty
  3. The Determinants of State-Level Antitrust Enforcement By Robert M. Feinberg; Kara M. Reynolds
  4. The Stock Market's Valuation of Research and Development and Market Concentration in Horizontal Mergers By Ralph M. Sonenshine
  5. Do supermarket prices change from week to week? By Ellis, Colin
  6. Survey Evidence on Customer Markets By Ali Choudhary; Thorlakur Karlsson; Gylfi Zoega

  1. By: P. Vanin
    Abstract: This paper displays a linear demand oligopoly model, in which firms endogenously decide whether to enter the market and whether to specialize on high or low quality products, and then repeatedly interact to sell experience goods. It shows that the intuition that low and rising prices grant compliance with quality promises extends to this setting, provided that high quality is sufficiently important to buyers.
    JEL: L13 L14 L15
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Joseph A. Clougherty
    Abstract: Motivated by the general lack of empirical scholarship concerning the cross-national environment for competition policy, I present measures here of the overall resources dedicated to competition policy and the merger policy work-load for thirty-two antitrust jurisdictions over the 1992-2007 period. The data allow analysing a number of perceived trends in competition policy over the last two decades, and allow the generation of some factual insights concerning these trends: e.g., the budgetary commitment to competition policy in the cross-national environment for antitrust has substantially increased over this period; budgetary increases appear to be commensurate with increased antitrust workloads; yet, the role of economics does not appear to have substantially increased relative to the role of law. Moreover, I am also able to provide some evidence that budgetary commitments to antitrust institutions yield economic benefits in terms of improved economic growth: i.e., higher budgetary commitments to competition policy are associated with higher levels per-capita GDP growth. <br> <br> <i>ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Entwicklungen in der Wettbewerbspolitik und Wirtschaftswachstum: Eine länderübergreifende empirische Untersuchung) <br>Zu den Rahmenbedingungen für Wettbewerbspolitik gibt es kaum länderübergreifende empirische Forschung. Dieser Mangel soll in der vorliegenden Studie behoben werden, in der die Gesamtausgaben für Wettbewerbspolitik und die Arbeitsbelastungen von 32 Kartellbehörden im Zeitraum von 1992 bis 2007 untersucht werden. Die Daten bieten die Möglichkeit, eine Anzahl von erkennbaren Entwicklungen in der Wettbewerbspolitik innerhalb der letzten zwei Jahrzehnte zu analysieren. Folgende Erkenntnisse resultieren: die Gesamtausgaben für Wettbewerbspolitik sind länderübergreifend in der betrachteten Periode erheblich gestiegen; zur Etatsteigerungen sind auch die Arbeitsbelastungen der Behördenmitarbeiter entsprechend gestiegen; dabei hat die ökonomische Expertise jedoch im Vergleich zur juristischen offenbar nicht an Einfluss auf die Wettbewerbspolitik gewonnen. Außerdem kann gezeigt werden, dass die Bereitstellung von finanziellen Mitteln für die Wettbewerbbehörden eines Landes wirtschaftlichen Nutzen stiftet, was sich in einem höheren Wirtschaftswachstum gemessen als höheres BIP-Wachstum pro Kopf niederschlägt.<i>
    Keywords: Competition Policy, Trends, Growth
    JEL: L40 K21 O40 C23
    Date: 2009–11
  3. By: Robert M. Feinberg; Kara M. Reynolds
    Abstract: While there has been a considerable literature exploring determinants of antitrust enforcement in the United States, studies have been based either on aggregate federal enforcement data over time (exploring cyclical influences) or cross-industry studies, usually for a single year or aggregated over several years. What has never been investigated is the pattern of state-level antitrust. This is somewhat surprising, as this has been a major activity of many state Attorneys General. In this paper, we explain state antitrust enforcement across states and time (for a 15-year period), examining a number of economic and political determinants which have been proposed in the literature.
    Keywords: antitrust enforcement
    JEL: L44
    Date: 2009–09
  4. By: Ralph M. Sonenshine
    Abstract: It is well documented that acquirers often pay a very large premium to acquire companies in related industries. There are many explanations as to the source of this premium. This study isolates two variables, R and D-intensity and market concentration, and correlates their value individually and jointly to the value of the acquired company. The results indicate that change in market concentration and Research and Development is positively correlated to the merger deal premium in a horizontal merger. Furthermore, deal premiums tend to follow an inverted U curve pattern relative to market concentration change. The study also shows that cost synergies and macro economic growth impact deal premium values.
    Keywords: mergers, Research and Development, market concentration, deal premium
    Date: 2009–08
  5. By: Ellis, Colin (Daiwa Securities SMBC Europe Ltd)
    Abstract: This paper examines the behaviour of supermarket prices in the United Kingdom, using weekly scanner data supplied by Nielsen. A number of stylised facts about pricing behaviour are uncovered. First, prices change very frequently in supermarkets, with 40% of prices changing each week, and even controlling for ‘temporary’ changes, a quarter of prices change each week. Importantly, there is evidence that focusing on monthly observations, rather than weekly ones, overstates the implied stickiness of prices. Second, the probability of price changes is not constant over time – all product categories have declining hazard functions. Third, the range of price changes is very wide, with some very large price cuts and price rises; but despite this, a significant number of price changes are very small. Fourth, there appears to be little link between the frequency and magnitude of price changes – prices that change less frequently do not tend to change by more. Fifth, the strongest correlation between price and volume changes is contemporaneous, suggesting that prices and volumes move together from week to week. And sixth, rough analysis based on simplifying assumptions suggests that consumers are fairly price sensitive: volumes change by more than prices.
    Keywords: Supermarket prices; behaviour of prices; demand elasticities
    JEL: D40 E31
    Date: 2009–11–27
  6. By: Ali Choudhary; Thorlakur Karlsson; Gylfi Zoega (Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck)
    Abstract: This paper uses survey data from Iceland on 884 firms to test for the theory of customer markets proposed by Phelps and Winter (1970) and Okun (1981). The results provide support for the customer market theory in that managers agree that customers are valuable to firms – they rank them second only to employees – and they use various means of augmenting and retaining their customer base, such as advertising. Surprisingly, however, price setting appears not to be an important ploy for attracting and retaining customers. In this we confirm the earlier results of Lye and Sibly (1994) using Australian data. Instead, advertising and direct contact with customers are listed as significantly more important.
    Date: 2009–11

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