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Evaluating Labor Productivity in Food Retailing

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  • Park, Timothy A.

Abstract

New store formats including competition from supercenters (driven by Wal-Mart), warehouse clubs, and mass merchandisers have emerged as a major threat to traditional grocery chains. A key issue in the food retailing sector is to understand how the earnings of employees respond to the evolution of new retail store formats and store organizational characteristics. The elasticity of complementarity for food retailers measures how changes in store size affect use of full-time and part-time employees. The evidence for constant returns to scale suggests that the Hicks elasticity of complementarity is the appropriate measure to assess input substitutability for food retailers. As store size increases the marginal value of labor rises and firms hire more part-time employees, along with a smaller increase in full-time workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN with number 9939.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea07:9939

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Keywords: elasticity of complementarity; employee compensation; food retailing; inverse price elasticities; Agribusiness; Labor and Human Capital;

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  1. Richard A. Jensen, 2004. "Multiplant Firms and Innovation Adoption and Diffusion," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 661-671, January.
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  12. Anja Decressin & Julia Lane & Kristin McCue & Martha Stinson, 2005. "Employer-Provided Benefit Plans, Workforce Composition and Firm Outcomes," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2005-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Martin Neil Baily & Robert M. Solow, 2001. "International Productivity Comparisons Built from the Firm Level," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 151-172, Summer.
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