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Retail sector concentration and price dynamics in the euro area: a regional analysis

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  • Emanuela Ciapanna

    ()
    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Concetta Rondinelli

    ()
    (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

We conduct a regional analysis of the relationship between market concentration and price dynamics in the grocery retail sector, focusing on a sample of five categories of goods belonging to the 12 COICOP aggregation and on a panel of countries that includes Germany, Spain, Finland, Italy, Austria and Portugal. Using a unique census-type dataset on retailers, we construct Herfindahl-Hirschman indices of concentration at the buying group, parent company and individual shop level for a sample of 118,540 large grocery stores and we study the association between these measures and regional price changes. Our results point to a positive association between retail market concentration and price growth in food and beverages, alcohol and tobacco and miscellaneous goods in the time span 2003-2010 at the buying, parental group and store level for the pooled sample of countries. The relation reverses sign for clothing and footwear and household equipment. This evidence is robust to different specifications of concentration indices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 107.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_107_11

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Keywords: Market concentration; price dynamics; buying group; parent company; regional Herfindahl-Hirschman indices.;

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  1. V. Baugnet & D. Cornille & E. Dhyne & B. Robert, 2009. "Regulation and competition in the distribution sector in Belgium," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue III, pages 33-57, September.
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  3. Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2008. "An Empirical Investigation of the Welfare Effects of Banning Wholesale Price Discrimination," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt7vg17026, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
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  5. Barros, Pedro Pita & Brito, Duarte & de Lucena, Diogo, 2006. "Mergers in the food retailing sector: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 447-468, February.
  6. Zhiqi Chen, 2001. "Dominant Retailers and the Countervailing Power Hypothesis," Carleton Economic Papers 01-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2003.
  7. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1996. "Countervailing power revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 507-519, June.
  8. Cotterill, Ronald, 2007. "Market Definition and Market Power in the British Supermarket Industry," Research Reports 149201, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  9. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-30, March.
  10. Paul Dobson & Michael Waterson, 1999. "Retailer power: recent developments and policy implications," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 133-164, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Eliana Viviano & Luciana Aimone Gigio & Emanuela Ciapanna & Daniele Coin & Fabrizio Colonna & Federica Lagna & Raffaele Santioni, 2012. "The retail trade sector and the food industry in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 119, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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