NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Matthew C. Weinberg

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Working Papers and Chapters

February 2014Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers
with Orley C. Ashenfelter, Daniel Hosken: w19939
In The Antitrust Paradox, Robert Bork viewed most mergers as either competitively neutral or efficiency enhancing. In his view, only mergers creating a dominant firm or monopoly were likely to harm consumers. Bork was especially skeptical of oligopoly concerns resulting from mergers. In this paper, we provide a critique of Bork’s views on merger policy from The Antitrust Paradox. Many of Bork’s recommendations have been implemented over time and have improved merger analysis. Bork’s proposed horizontal merger policy, however, was too permissive. In particular, the empirical record shows that mergers in oligopolistic markets can raise consumer prices.
August 2013Efficiencies Brewed: Pricing and Consolidation in the U.S. Beer Industry
with Orley C. Ashenfelter, Daniel Hosken: w19353
Merger efficiencies provide the primary justification for why mergers of competitors may benefit consumers. Surprisingly, there is little evidence that efficiencies can offset incentives to raise prices following mergers. We estimate the effects of increased concentration and efficiencies on pricing by using panel scanner data and geographic variation in how the merger of Miller and Coors breweries was expected to increase concentration and reduce costs. All else equal, the average predicted increase in concentration lead to price increases of two percent, but at the mean this was offset by a nearly equal and opposite efficiency effect.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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