Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Indirect Effects of Changes in Product Market Competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Mary J. Becker, University of Pittsburgh - Katz Graduate School of Business and Shawn E. Thomas, University of Pittsburgh - Finance address The Indirect Effects of Changes in Product Market Competition.

ABSTRACT: We investigate the timing, magnitude, and direction of the relation between changes in product market competition across vertically related industries over the period 1978-2008. We document that changes in customer industry concentration are positively related to subsequent changes in supplier industry concentration consistent with changes in customer industry concentration prompting changes in supplier industry concentration. We find evidence that increased concentration in customer and supplier industries, perhaps reflecting countervailing power motives for horizontal mergers and acquisitions, explain in part the observed positive relation; however, we also find robust evidence that decreases in concentration perhaps reflecting entry waves in vertically related industries are also important determinants of the observed relation. Our results have implications for those papers that examine the association between the level of product market competition and important corporate finance policy choices and asset pricing.

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