Efficiencies Brewed: Pricing and Consolidation in the U.S. Beer Industry
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.
We appreciate the careful research assistance provided by Luke Olson. We thank J.F. Houde, Ken Heyer, Nicholas Hill, Dan O'Brien and participants of the 2013 IIOC for comments. The authors have no financial interests related to this project to disclose. Any mistakes are our own. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Trade Commission, any individual Commissioner, or the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- Despite reducing the number of macro brewers from three to two, the efficiency gains created by the merger offset the incentive to...
Efficiencies brewed: pricing and consolidation in the US beer industry Orley C. Ashenfelter1, Daniel S. Hosken2 andMatthew C. Weinberg3 The RAND Journal of Economics Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 328–361, Summer 2015 citation courtesy of