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MARKET POWER AND COST-EFFICIENCY EFFECTS OF THE MARKET CONCENTRATION IN THE U.S. NITROGEN FERTILIZER INDUSTRY

By C.S. Kim, Charles B. Hallahan, Harold Taylor and Gerald E. Schluter

Abstract

This article examines the effects of increasing market concentration level in the U.S. nitrogen fertilizer industry. Results indicate that the costs of market power are greater than the benefits of market concentration, in terms of manufacturing cost efficiency. To provide a stable nitrogen fertilizer supply at a relatively low price, it may be necessary to control natural gas price and/or reduce new import barriers from Middle East and former member states of the Soviet Union, where low cost gas is produced as a byproduct. Keywords: Nitrogen fertilizer, oligopoly, economies of size, market power, cost-efficiency.Nitrogen fertilizer, oligopoly, economies of size, market power, cost-efficiency., Marketing,

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