Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coatney, Kalyn T.

Committee Member

Parman, Bryon J.

Committee Member

Tack, Jesse B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Economics

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Agricultural Economics


The research is motivated by the significant increase in multiproduct mergers in the meat-protein processing sector, whereby the largest firms now process beef, pork, and chicken. This thesis conducts a theoretical merger analysis, accounting for both within- and across-submarket substitution of demand related goods. The model developed is suitable for analyzing markets in which there are identifiable consumer submarkets within a larger market. The results indicate two primary findings. The first finding is that Bertrand firms have a unilateral incentive to merge. Firms involved in a given merger increase profit, as well as those not included in the merger. Second, it is found that without sufficient realized scope economies by the merged firm, significant anticompetitive price increases are likely. However, as substitutability within and across submarkets tend towards each other in magnitude, the required cost reductions for welfare neutrality increase vastly. Additionally, guidelines for future empirical analysis are discussed.