Concentration, Product Variety, and Entry‐For‐Merger: Evidence from New Product Introductions in the U.S. Food Industry
17 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2020
Date Written: October 2016
Competing theories in industrial organization predict that more concentrated industries will lead to a smaller and more efficient variety of products or, alternately, a larger and less efficient array of products. This paper presents an empirical study of these competing implications that estimates the impact of market concentration on new product introductions in a panel of nine food processing industries over 1983 to 2004. Controlling for industry‐level unobservables (using fixed effects) and endogeneity of industry market structure, we find that industry concentration promotes the introduction of new products. Preliminary evidence also suggests that new product introductions spur subsequent food industry mergers. Both conclusions are consistent with the “entry‐for‐merger” theory of product variety wherein atomistic innovators introduce new products in anticipation of profitable future mergers with concentrated firms.
Keywords: Market concentration, mergers, new product introductions
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