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.

Publications

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 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

Mobile apps can collect real-time location data. This information may be used to create new trade opportunities but its collection may be perceived as a violation of app users' privacy. We show that these data generate new trade opportunities, benefiting consumers and firms, even if data collection happens at 1/3 the observed frequency. Tracking Consumers: The Trade-off between the Value of Granular Data and Consumers’ Privacy with Unnati Narang slides | SSRN | Revision requested at the Journal of Marketing Research.

Vertical Structure and Market Fragmentation: Evidence from the Chilean Stock Market with Cristián Figueroa

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

Why Mainstream Brands supply Private Labels? with Andrés Elberg and Carlos Noton

Teaching

Antitrust (undergraduate)

Data Science (undergraduate)

Industrial Organization (graduate)

Seminar

TAMU IO Day: Fall 2021, Fall 2021.

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

Other

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

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