Does the King Use Its Power? Price Competition in U.S. Brewing
AbstractPricing behavior of firms in differentiated product markets has been studied intensely in recent empirical work. Despite several accounts in various industries, price leadership has remained mostly unassessed. This study analyzes price competition in the U.S. brewing industry with a focus on price leadership by the largest U.S. beer producer Anheuser-Busch and its heavily marketed "King of Beers" brand Budweiser. This paper employs a unique nationwide data set on brand-level sales collected before and after a 100% increase in the federal excise tax on beer. Brand-level demand estimates are combined with several supply models, including several price leadership scenarios, to simulate prices that would have prevailed under each model after the tax increase. These "predicted" prices are then compared to "actual" prices after the tax increase to determine the fit of the different supply models. While Bertrand-Nash behavior appears to be a more suitable model of price competition, it tends to under-predict price increases of more price-elastic brands and to over-predict price increases of less price-elastic brands. In particular, the predicted price of Budweiser is much larger than its actual value. An interpretation of this result is that Anheuser-Busch could exert more market power through its flagship brand than it actually does. Overall, actual price movements as a result of the tax increase tend to be more similar across brands than predicted by any of the models considered. While this pattern is not inconsistent with leadership behavior, leadership models considered in this paper do not conform with this pattern.
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 University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center in its series Research Reports with number 25172.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4021, Storrs, CT 06269-4021
Phone: (860) 486-1927
Fax: (860) 486-2461
Web page: http://www.fmpc.uconn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Agribusiness; Demand and Price Analysis; Industrial Organization;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kadiyali, Vrinda & Vilcassim, Naufel J & Chintagunta, Pradeep K, 1996. "Empirical Analysis of Competitive Product Line Pricing Decisions: Lead, Follow, or Move Together?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(4), pages 459-87, October.
- Simon P. Anderson & Andre de Palma & Brent Kreider, 2000.
"Tax Incidence in Differentiated Product Oligopoly,"
Virginia Economics Online Papers
341, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- S. P. Anderson & A. de Palma & B. Kreider, 2000. "Tax Incidence in Differentiated Product Oligopoly," THEMA Working Papers 2000-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
- S. P. Anderson & A. de Palma & B. Kreider, 1999. "Tax incidence in differentiated product oligopoly," THEMA Working Papers 99-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
- Anderson, Simon & de Palma, Andre & Kreider, Brent, 2001. "Tax Incidence in Differentiated Product Oligopoly," Staff General Research Papers 5202, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Anderson, S.P. & de Palma, A. & Kreider, B., 1999. "Tax incidece in Differentiated product Oligopoly," Papers 99-10, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
- Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
- Gasmi, Farid & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Vuong, Quang, 1992.
"Econometric Analysis of Collusive Behavior in a Soft Drink Market,"
IDEI Working Papers
16, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Gasmi, F & Laffont, J J & Vuong, Q, 1992. "Econometric Analysis of Collusive Behavior in a Soft-Drink Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 277-311, Summer.
- Moschini, GianCarlo, 1995. "Units of Measurement and the 'Stone Index' In Demand System Estimation," Staff General Research Papers 5058, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
- Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
- Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1990. "Collusive Price Leadership," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 93-111, September.
- Slade, Margaret E, 1995. "Product Rivalry with Multiple Strategic Weapons: An Analysis of Price and Advertising Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 445-76, Fall.
- Jerry A. Hausman, 1994.
"Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
4970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jerry A. Hausman, 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 207-248 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hausman, J.A., 1994. "Valuation of New Goods Under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," Working papers 94-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E., 2004. "Mergers, brand competition, and the price of a pint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 617-643, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.