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Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency

Bruce Blonigen and Justin Pierce ()

Working Papers from U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies

Abstract: Study of the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on productivity and market power has been complicated by the difficulty of separating these two effects. We use newly-developed techniques to separately estimate productivity and markups across a wide range of industries using confidential data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Employing a difference-in-differences framework, we find that M&As are associated with increases in average markups, but find little evidence for effects on plant-level productivity. We also examine whether M&As increase efficiency through reallocation of production to more efficient plants or through reductions in administrative operations, but again find little evidence for these channels, on average. The results are robust to a range of approaches to address the endogeneity of firms’ merger decisions.

Date: 2016-01
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https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2016/CES-WP-16-43.pdf First version, 2016 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency (2016) Downloads
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