The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies

58 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2008 Last revised: 2 Apr 2008

See all articles by Orley Ashenfelter

Orley Ashenfelter

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniel S. Hosken

Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission

Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

In this paper we propose a method to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. horizontal merger policy and apply it to the study of five recent consumer product mergers. We selected the mergers from those that, from the public record, seemed to be most problematic for the antitrust agencies. Thus we estimate an upper bound on the likely price effect of completed mergers. Our study employs retail scanner data and uses familiar panel data program evaluation procedures to measure price changes. Our results indicate that four of the five mergers resulted in some increases in consumer prices, while the fifth merger had little effect.

Suggested Citation

Ashenfelter, Orley C. and Hosken, Daniel S., The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Selected Case Studies (March 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w13859. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1106585

Orley C. Ashenfelter (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4040 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Daniel S. Hosken

Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

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