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Market Competition And Metropolitan-Area Grocery Prices

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Author Info

  • Binkley, James K.
  • Connor, John M.

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship of 1987 retail grocery prices to supermarket sales concentration across 95 U.S. metropolitan areas. The regression model incorporates a large number of population, retail-cost, and retail competition factors and separate prices by type of grocery item. We find that the concentration-price relationship is sensitive to item type: positive for packaged, branded, dry groceries and unrelated for produce, meat, and dairy product prices. As for market rivalry, we find that small grocery stores provide no grocery price competition for supermarkets. However, branded grocery prices are driven down by fast-food places and by rapid price churning, whereas for unbranded foods the presence of warehouse stores places downward pressure on supermarket prices while fast-food presence does not. For the branded-groceries component, we also find prices higher in large, fast-growing, low- income, Eastern cities. We also find that cities where rents, wages, and electricity costs are high tend to have high dry grocery prices. However, for the unbranded-products component retail costs are unrelated to prices, and cities in the South have the highest prices.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/25988
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance in its series Working Papers with number 25988.

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Date of creation: 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:rpspwp:25988

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Draper Hall, College of Food and Natural Resources, Amherst, MA 01003
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Web page: http://www.umass.edu/ne165/
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Related research

Keywords: retail grocery trade; pricing policy; variable price merchandising; market competition; category management; market structure; sales concentration; price discrimination; price rivalry; oligopoly; food demand; food prices; Consumer/Household Economics;

References

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  1. Lamm, R McFall, 1981. "Prices and Concentration in the Food Retailing Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 67-78, September.
  2. Bliss, Christopher, 1988. "A Theory of Retail Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 375-91, June.
  3. Cotterill, Ronald W, 1986. "Market Power in the Retail Food Industry: Evidence from Vermont," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 379-86, August.
  4. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
  5. Kim, Byung-Do & Blattberg, Robert C & Rossi, Peter E, 1995. "Modeling the Distribution of Price Sensitivity and Implications for Optimal Retail Pricing," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 291-303, July.
  6. William J. Baumol & Richard E. Quandt & Harold T. Shapiro, 1964. "Oligopoly Theory and Retail Food Pricing," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37, pages 346.
  7. Cotterill, Ronald W., 1991. "Food Retailing: Mergers, Leveraged Buyouts, and Performance," Research Reports 25217, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Volpe, Richard J., III & Lavoie, Nathalie, 2005. "The Effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19188, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Alessandro Bonanno & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 2004. "Private Labels, Retail Configuration, and Fluid Milk Prices," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 082, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  3. Martens, Bobby J. & Dooley, Frank J. & Kim, Sounghun, 2006. "The Effect Of Entry By Wal-Mart Supercenters On Retail Grocery Concentration," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21101, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Chih-ching Yu & John M. Connor, 2002. "The price-concentration relationship in grocery retailing: Retesting Newmark," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 413-426.
  5. Chung, Chanjin & Henneberry, Shida Rastegari & Tostao, Emilio, 2004. "Will The Voluntary Checkoff Program Be The Answer? An Analysis Of Optimal Advertising And Free-Rider Problem In The U.S. Beef Industry," 2004 Annual Meeting, February 14-18, 2004, Tulsa, Oklahoma 34694, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  6. Richard J. Volpe III & Nathalie Lavoie, 2006. "The Effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England," Working Papers 2006-8, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  7. Kinsey, Jean D., 1998. "Concentration Of Ownership In Food Retailing: A Review Of The Evidence About Consumer Impact," Working Papers 14329, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  8. Digal, Larry N. & Ahmadi-Esfahani, Fredoun Z., 2002. "Market power analysis in the retail food industry: a survey of methods," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(4), December.
  9. Leschewski, Andrea Marie & Weatherspoon, Dave D., 2014. "Fast Food Restaurant Pricing Strategies in Michigan Food Deserts," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 17(A).
  10. Frigon, Mathieu & Doyon, Maurice & Romain, Robert F.J., 1999. "Asymmetry in Farm-Retail Price Transmission in the Northeastern Fluid Milk Market," Research Reports 25220, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.

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