Daniel S. Hosken, Luke M. Olson, and Loren K. Smith
This study estimates the price effects of horizontal mergers in the U.S. grocery retailing industry. We examine fourteen regions affected by mergers, including mergers in highly concentrated and relatively unconcentrated markets. We identify price effects by comparing markets affected by mergers to unaffected markets using difference-in-difference estimation with three different comparison groups, propensity score weights, and by using the synthetic control method. Our results are robust to the choice of control group and estimation technique. We find that mergers in highly concentrated markets are most frequently associated with price increases, and mergers in less concentrated markets are most often associated with price decreases.