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Selected Topics in Industrial Organization and Competition Economics

WiSe 23/24 general topic: Mergers

Deadline for application: Oct. 08, 2023

Application form available here



 max. 10

 Target group

 M.Sc. VWL; M.Sc. Economics






Requirements: Very good working knowledge of theoretical microeconomics. This seminar is recommended to students who have followed the courses Advanced Microeconomics I & II, Digital and Network Economics, and Industrial Organization


Qualification target: During the seminar, a specific topic in industrial organization and competition economics will be covered in depth, such that students gain a thorough understanding of this topic. They will learn how to approach a specialized field of study and how to write and present a seminar paper. These skills are particularly helpful for writing a Master thesis.


Examination type: Each student will be working on a specific article. Seminar participants have to write a seminar paper (circa 5,000 words plus equations), to do a presentation (25 min), and to implement (parts of) the theoretical model developed in the paper in R.

In their seminar papers, participants should provide a critical discussion of the paper, notably in light of the existing literature, as well as an extension of the results.


Students’ workload and supervision: Students will (i) participate in block sessions, (ii) participate in bilateral meetings in order to benefit from personalized supervision, on both the economic aspects of the paper and on implementing the theoretical model in R, and (iii) work on their seminar paper and R code individually.


Important dates:

  • Deadline for application: October 8, 2023
  • Acceptance decision and allocation of articles: October 12, 2023
  • Introductory meeting (mandatory): October 25, 2023 (12:00 – 16:00) – HS 1221
  • Block session on R (mandatory): November 2, 2023 (12:00 – 16:00) – HS 3219
  • During the semester:
    • Two individual meetings to discuss the economics as well as extension ideas and the structure of the seminar paper (prior booking required)
    • Two individual meetings to discuss the implementation of the model in R (prior booking required)
  • Block seminar presentations and feedback: January 26, 2024 (11:00) – on Zoom
  • Submission of the final seminar paper: February 11, 2024



List of specific articles:

  • Article 1: Perry, M. and Porter, R. (1985): “Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger,” American Economic Review.
  • Article 2: Farrell, J. and Shapiro, C. (1990): “Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis,” American Economic Review.
  • Article 3: Dutz, M. (1989): “Horizontal mergers in declining industries: Theory and evidence,” International Journal of Industrial Organization.
  • Article 4: Ziss, S. (2001): “Horizontal mergers and delegation,” International Journal of Industrial Organization.
  • Article 5: Cosnita A. and Tropeano, JP. (2009): “Negotiating remedies: Revealing the merger efficiency gains,” International Journal of Industrial Organization.
  • Article 6: Choi JP. (2008): “Mergers with Bundling in Complementary Markets,” Journal of Industrial Economics.
  • Article 7: Etro, F. (2019): “Mergers of complements and entry in innovative industries,” International Journal of Industrial Organization.
  • Article 8: Cho, S. (2014): “Horizontal Mergers in Multitier Decentralized Supply Chains,” Management Science.
  • Article 9: Nocke, V. and Whinston M. (2022): “Concentration Thresholds for Horizontal Mergers,” American Economic Review.
  • Article 10: Caradonna, P., Miller, N. and Sheu, G. (2023): “Mergers, Entry, and Consumer Welfare,” unpublished manuscriptavailable at

Note: All papers are available online (e.g. on or from the university or connecting via a VPN to the university’s network.


Background reading:

  • Motta, Massimo (2004): Competition Policy – Theory and Practice, CUP (Chapter 5)
  • Salant, W., Switzer, S. and Reynolds R. (1983): “Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
  • Miller, N. and Sheu, G. (2021) “Quantitative Methods for Evaluating the Unilateral Effects of Mergers,” Review of Industrial Organization.
  • Nocke, V. (2022): “Horizontal Merger Policy: New Work on an Old Problem,” available at
  • Belleflamme, Paul and Martin Peitz (2015): Industrial Organization – Markets and Strategies, 2nd edition, CUP (Chapter 15)