Market Power and Systematic Risk
54 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021 Last revised: 27 Sep 2022
Date Written: February 19, 2021
We investigate the impact of product market competition on firms' systematic risk. Using a measure of total product market similarity, we document a strong negative link between market power and market betas. There is a more than threefold increase in the effect during the most recent low-competition period. Anti-competitive mergers lead to a significant reduction in market betas, underlining the causality of the market power--systematic risk relationship. Firms that face less competition appear to be partly insulated from systematic discount-rate shocks. Lower equity costs therefore mean that market power is in part self-perpetuating.
Keywords: Market power, systematic risk, market beta, mergers and acquisitions, product market competition, discount-rate beta
JEL Classification: G10, L11, G34, L25, L22
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