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Firm Size Distribution: Testing the 'Independent Submarkets Model' in the Italian Motor Insurance Industry

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  • Buzzacchi, Luigi
  • Valletti, Tommaso

Abstract

This Paper tests the presence of multiple independent submarkets in the Italian motor insurance industry. Independence is motivated by administrative boundaries among provinces and by further locational reasons. We find that the independence effects are sufficient to induce a minimum degree of inequality in the size distribution of firms once submarkets are aggregated. These results are consistent with the predictions of Sutton (1998). At the submarket level, some degree of inequality can be explained by a model of equilibrium price dispersion based on costly consumer search. Our findings show that Sutton’s limiting approach and one based on a game theoretical analysis of an industry are good complements when the industry is made of several independent submarkets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3444.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3444

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Keywords: independent submarkets; insurance companies; price dispersion; size distribution of firms;

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References

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  1. Dahlby, Bev & West, Douglas S, 1986. "Price Dispersion in an Automobile Insurance Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 418-38, April.
  2. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
  3. Luigi Buzzacchi & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2004. "Firm Size Distribution in Small Samples," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 301-309, October.
  4. Barron, John M. & Taylor, Beck A. & Umbeck, John R., 2004. "Number of sellers, average prices, and price dispersion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1041-1066, November.
  5. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2003. "Firm Size and Market Power in Carbonated Soft Drinks," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 283-299, December.
  6. Asplund, Marcus, 1998. "On the size distributions of firms and markets," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 288, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. Carlson, John A & McAfee, R Preston, 1983. "Discrete Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 480-93, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. John Sutton, 2001. "Rich Trades, Scarce Capabilities: Industrial Development Revisited," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2003. "Firm Size and Market Power in Carbonated Soft Drinks," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3_4), pages 283-299, December.
  3. repec:dgr:uvatin:2008095 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Giannetti, C., 2008. "Intensity of Competition and Market Structure in the Italian Banking Industry," Discussion Paper 2008-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2002. "Product differentiation and firm size distribution: an application to carbonated soft drinks," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6745, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. John Hutchinson & Jozef Konings & Patrick Walsh, 2010. "The Firm Size Distribution and Inter-Industry Diversification," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 65-82, September.
  7. Tom Van Ourti & Philip Clarke, 2008. "The Bias of the Gini Coefficient due to Grouping," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-095/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Maria Letizia Giorgetti, 2001. "Quantile Regression in Lower Bound Estimation," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 29, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  9. Silvana Robone & Alberto Zanardi, 2006. "Market structure and technology: evidence from the Italian National Health Service," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 215-236, September.
  10. Steven Klepper & Peter Thompson, 2006. "Submarkets and the evolution of market structure," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 861-886, December.
  11. Kattuman, P. & Roberts, B.M., 2000. "Strategy Choices of Firms and Market Concentration'," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0018, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2002. "Portfolio Effects and Firm Size Distribution - Carbonated Soft Drinks," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 33(1), pages 43-54.

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