DP6397 | Cross-Border Mergers & Acquisitions and the Role of Trade Costs

Publication Date

20/07/2007

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Abstract

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have increased dramatically over the last two decades. This paper analyses the role of trade costs in explaining the increase in the number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions. In particular, we distinguish horizontal and non-horizontal M&As and investigate whether trade costs affect these two types of mergers differently. We analyse this question using industry data for 23 OECD countries for the period 1990-2001. Our findings suggest that while in the aggregate trade costs affect cross-border merger activity negatively its impact differs importantly across horizontal and non-horizontal mergers. The impact of trade costs is less negative for horizontal mergers, which is consistent with the tariff-jumping argument.