Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 2 No. 1 (Winter 1988)


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Symposium on Takeovers

Article Citation

Varian, Hal R. 1988. "Symposium on Takeovers." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2(1): 3-5.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.2.1.3


Of the hundred largest mergers and acquisitions on record up to 1984, 65 occurred between 1981 and 1983, and only 11 occurred prior to 1979. During the 1981-84 period, there were at least 45 transactions of over a billion dollars apiece; prior to this period there were only a dozen or so transactions of such magnitude. What is the meaning of this "merger mania?" Why did it occur so suddenly? Is the wave of takeovers merely a speculative bubble, or is it motivated by fundamental economic conditions? What can we expect in the future? What policy responses, if any, are appropriate in light of this explosion of takeover activity? The papers in this symposium offer four perspectives on takeover activities.

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Varian, Hal R. (Unlisted)

JEL Classifications

611: Market Structure: Industrial Organization and Corporate Strategy


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