Spatial Structure in the Retail Trade: A Study in Product Differentiation with Increasing Returns
AbstractThis article develops a model to analyze the implications of economies of scale in transportation for the spatial distribution of retail outlets and for the structure and pricing of public transportation systems. Consumers (or workers) are located around the circumference of a circle with a single producer (or employer) at the center. Consumers may buy directly from the center (workers may drive directly to the center), or they may buy from shops on the circumference which have bought in bulk from the center (workers may drive to stations on the circumference and commute by public transportation). The article examines the socially optimal pattern of outlets, the pricing policy which supports this and the effects of alternative pricing policies, and the patterns of outlets resulting from various forms of competition. Among the results derived, it is shown that the socially optimal pattern cannot be sustained by nondiscriminatory pricing that covers average costs, and that attempts to cover average costs may lead to large distortions. In addition, without price discrimination, competition usually leads to an excessive number of outlets if the market is large and to an insufficient number if the market is small.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 11 (1980)
Issue (Month): 2 (Autumn)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.rje.org
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- David Flath, 2003. "Regulation, Distribution Efficiency, and Retail Density," NBER Working Papers 9450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenn Ariga & Kenji Matsui, 2003. "Mismeasurement of the CPI," NBER Chapters, in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 89-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.