This paper uses a dynamic dominant-firm model with an endogenous merger process to examine the effects of trade liberalization on industry structure. Domestic and cross-border mergers and demergers are allowed for. When firms are myopic and the dominant firm has a sufficiently high pre-merger capital share in any one country, trade liberalization causes the industry to become significantly more concentrated. When firms are forward-looking, this anti-competitive effect of trade liberalization is mitigated. Tariff reduction from a prohibitive to a non-prohibitive level aligns merger patterns across countries and initiates merger (or demerger) waves simultaneously across countries, provided all firms are equally forward-looking. When the dominant firm is more forward-looking than the fringe, however, this result may be reversed. These results, thus, highlight the importance of taking into consideration existing industry structure and firms' discount rates whilst formulating competition policy in the face of trade liberalization.
|Place of Publication||Tilburg|
|Number of pages||38|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
|Name||CentER Discussion Paper|
- endogenous market structure
- horizontal mergers
- trade liberalization