Fernando Luco

Associate Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University

My research is on industrial organization and competition policy (antitrust). You can learn more about me and my work by downloading my CV, checking the papers below, or visiting my Google Scholar profile. I am also a PADI Divemaster on active teaching status. You can find me helping with scuba lessons from time to time.


The 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines assume that the elimination of double marginalization caused by vertical integration is procompetitive. We analyze equilibrium effects of vertical integration to shed light on when EDM may fail to be procompetitive in multiproduct industries. Diagnosing Anticompetitive Effects of Vertical Integration by Multiproduct Firms with Guillermo Marshall code | doi | Review of Industrial Organization, 59 (2): 381-92.

Reducing uncertainty about future wholesale prices may reduce firms' incentives to coordinate, and it reduces these incentives the most in markets with stronger leaders. Price Leadership and Uncertainty about Future Costs with Jorge Lemus doi | Journal of Industrial Economics, 69 (2): 305-37.

Vertical mergers by multiproduct firms raise anticompetitive pricing incentives. We call this the Edgeworth-Salinger effect and show that it counteracts procompetitive effects of vertical mergers. We call for the E-S effect to be explicitly considered in antitrust enforcement. The Competitive Impact of Vertical Integration by Multiproduct Firms with Guillermo Marshall slides | Microeconomic Insights | doi | American Economic Review, 110 (7): 2041-64.

Heterogeneity in strategic sophistication may lead to inefficient market outcomes and high prices even without exploitation of market power. Mergers between heterogeneous firms may, however, improve efficiency even if they increase concentration and do not generate cost synergies. Does Strategic Ability Affect Efficiency? Evidence from Electricity Markets with Ali Hortaçsu, Steve Puller and Dongni Zhu slides | doi | American Economic Review, 109 (12): 4302-42.

Switching costs induce inertia in consumer behavior and often result in consumers paying high prices. Understanding what causes them informs policy design and may induce more intense competition between firms. Switching Costs and Competition in Retirement Investment doi | AEA Research Highlights | American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 11 (2): 26-54.

Information disclosure may increase or decrease the intensity of competition and it may have important distributional effects. Who Benefits from Information Disclosure? The Case of Retail Gasoline doi | American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 11 (2): 277-305.

Working papers and work in progress

We develop a methodology to transform foot traffic data collected from mobile phones into a measure of consumer retail spending. We illustrate its use by quantifying local fiscal multipliers at the zip code level. We show that these multipliers are highly localized, decay quickly in space, and are heterogeneous across store categories. Measuring Local Consumption with Payment Cards and Cell Phone Pings with Ben Klopack pdf | Submitted.

Mobile apps collect real-time location data, which may be used to predict consumers' future behavior. However, using these data may be perceived as violating users' privacy. We show that these data are helpful when predicting consumers' future retail visits, even when their collection and use are restricted in specific ways. Geo-Tracking Consumers and its Privacy Trade-offs with Unnati Narang pdf.

Market Structure and Distributional Implications of Product Bans with Jorge Alé-Chilet and Eve Colson-Sihra

The Impact of Natural Disasters on Businesses and Consumers with Ben Klopack and Eric Lewis

The Competitive Effects of the Live Nation and Ticketmaster Merger with Kyle Wilson and Mo Xiao


Antitrust (undergraduate)

Data Science (undergraduate)

Industrial Organization (graduate)


TAMU IO Day: Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023.

Interactive Online IO Seminar, aka (IO)^2 Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021 (open to everyone)


E-mail: fluco [at] tamu [dot] edu

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