Determinants of the Concentration in Beer Markets in Germany and the United States: 1950–2005
Between 1950 and 2000, the four-firm producer-concentration ratio for beer increased from twenty-two to ninety-five in the United States. In Germany, the four-firm producer-concentration ratio was just twenty-nine in 2000; and the eight-firm ratio in Germany was smaller than the one-firm ratio in the United States. In 2005, after five years of important mergers involving big brewers, the German beer industry was still much less concentrated than its American counterpart. This chapter discusses several candidate explanations for the failure of beer-producer-concentration to rise as much in Germany as in the United States: the relevance of the new technologies to German brewers, the preferences of German consumers, the rules for advertising on German television and other factors, largely absent from the consensus interpretation of American experience.
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