The literature on antitrust in an open-economy setting is inconclusive with respect to the role played by trade balance on the tenor of domestic merger policy. Using a panel dataset composed of U.S. merger reviews by industrial sector over the 1982-2001 period, I empirically test the impact of sectoral trade balance on the level of antitrust scrutiny. The results suggest that larger trade balances lead to more vigorous antitrust scrutiny; thus "strategic" merger policy does not appear evident, and consumer surplus appears to guide U.S. merger policy even under the lure of international competitive gains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Economics and Econometrics
- Public Administration