Do prices fall faster when Wal-Mart is around? The effect of competition and reputation on cost pass-through and price adjustment
AbstractThis study analyzes Wal-Mart’s pricing practices and its inﬂuence on competitors’ input cost transmission. Previous attempts to analyze Wal-Mart’s pricing strategy in the United States have been limited by the company’s refusal to provide scanner data to third party research ﬁrms such as AC Nielsen. This is the ﬁrst study to observe Wal-Mart’s prices over an extended period of time. Using weekly-store level price data between 2001 and 2006 that government oﬃcials collected in 12 Mexican cities, I ﬁnd that Wal-Mart adjusts its prices 1/3-3 times slower to wholesale price increases than other retailers and responds 5-7 times faster to wholesale price decreases than its competitors. This evidence is robust to the comparison of Wal-Mart to other hypermarkets that oﬀer “every day low prices” and to potential endogeneity of Wal-Mart’s location choices. All retailers respond asymmetrically to wholesale cost changes. However, retailers other than Wal-Mart respond twice as fast to wholesale price increases than to decreases, while Wal-Mart behaves in the opposite way. I ﬁnd no evidence that proximity to a Wal-Mart supercenter or the level of competition aﬀects the speed of price adjustment of retailers.
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 InfoPaper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49459.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
Wal-Mart; cost pass-through; competition; Agribusiness; Industrial Organization;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-05-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2009-05-16 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-URE-2009-05-16 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.