Evaluating the Performance of Merger Simulation: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry

DOJ Antitrust Division Economic Analysis Group Discussion Paper No. 03-1

53 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2003  

Craig T. Peters

U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

This paper uses merger simulations to predict post-merger prices for six major airline mergers from the 1980's, and compares these predictions with actual post-merger prices. Simulations which incorporate varying degrees of post-merger information allow us to decompose the actual price changes into its component effects. The results suggest that standard simulation methods, which measure the effect of the ownership transfer on pricing incentives, can account for a large component of the post-merger price change, but should not be expected to account for all of it. Changes in marginal cost or firm conduct generally account for most of the remainder, while post-merger entry and changes in observed and unobserved demand-side variables typically have a relatively small effect. A comparison of two alternative demand models indicates that the cross-price elasticities, and hence simulated prices, are quite sensitive to the demand specification.

Keywords: Mergers, merger simulation, airlines, demand estimation

JEL Classification: L11, L40, L93

Suggested Citation

Peters, Craig T., Evaluating the Performance of Merger Simulation: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry (January 2003). DOJ Antitrust Division Economic Analysis Group Discussion Paper No. 03-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=399941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.399941

Craig T. Peters (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division ( email )

600 E Street NW
Suite 10000
Washington, DC 20530
United States
202-353-2806 (Phone)
202-514-8862 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,654
Rank
7,577
Abstract Views
5,582