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Spatial Competition in the French Supermarket Industry

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  • Stéphane Turolla

Abstract

This paper challenges the conventional wisdom of a competitive grocery retail sector in France. To measure the intensity of competition in this sector, I develop a structural model of spatial competition that accounts for (i) market geography on consumers' preferences, and (ii) differences in their shopping list. The demand estimates are used to recover stores' price-cost margin under alternative pricing strategies. I select the best pricing model by applying non-nested tests and show that retailers noticeably distort their offer in highly concentrated markets. Retail competition in the French supermarket industry appears to be highly localized in that margins are very sensitive to the presence of a competitor within a few kilometers. Finally, I perform counterfactual experiments to quantify the expected gain of an additional store on consumer welfare and retail prices,

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Turolla, 2016. "Spatial Competition in the French Supermarket Industry," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 121-122, pages 213-259.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2016:i:121-122:p:213-259
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.121-122.213
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15609/annaeconstat2009.121-122.213
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
    2. Allain, Marie-Laure & Chambolle, Claire, 2011. "Anti-competitive effects of resale-below-cost laws," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 373-385, July.
    3. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
    4. Asplund, Marcus & Friberg, Richard, 2002. " Food Prices and Market Structure in Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 547-566, December.
    5. Dubois, Pierre & Jodar-Rosell, Sandra, 2010. "Price and Brand Competition between Differentiated Retailers: A Structural Econometric Model," IDEI Working Papers 604, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    6. Michael A. Cohen & Ronald W. Cotterill, 2011. "Assessing The Impact Of Retailer Store Brand Presence On Manufacturer Brands In An Equilibrium Framework," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 372-395, September.
    7. Timothy J. Richards & Stephen F. Hamilton, 2006. "Rivalry in Price and Variety among Supermarket Retailers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(3), pages 710-726.
    8. 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.
    9. Paul B. Ellickson & Sanjog Misra, 2008. "Supermarket Pricing Strategies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(5), pages 811-828, 09-10.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle & Stéphane Turolla & Sofia B. Villas-Boas, 2013. "The Impact of Retail Mergers on Food Prices : Evidence from France," Working Papers 2013-18, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    2. Bonnet, Céline & Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra & Klein, Gordon & Richards, Timothy J., 2016. "Strategic Obfuscation and Retail Pricing," TSE Working Papers 16-733, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial Competition; Structural Model; Discrete Choice Model; Differentiated Products; Supermarket Industry.;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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