University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, Chicago, IL
Policy choices often entail trade-offs between workers and consumers. I assess how foreign competition changes the consumer welfare and domestic employment effects of a merger. I construct a model accounting for demand responses, endogenous product portfolios, and employment. I apply this model to the acquisition of Maytag by Whirlpool in the household appliance industry. I compare the observed acquisition to one with a foreign buyer. While a Whirlpool acquisition decreased consumer welfare by $250 million, it led to 1,300 fewer domestic jobs lost. Jobs need to be worth above $220,000 annually for domestic employment effects to offset consumer harm.