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Spatial Differentiation and Vertical Mergers in Retail Markets for Gasoline


  • Jean-Francois Houde


This paper studies an empirical model of spatial competition applied to gasoline markets. The main feature is to specify commuting paths as the "locations" of consumers in a Hotelling-style model. As a result, spatial differentiation depends in an intuitive way on the structure of the road network and the direction of traffic flows. The model is estimated using panel data on the Quebec City gasoline market and used to evaluate the consequences of a recent vertical merger. Difference-in-difference and counterfactual simulation methods are compared, and the results, to a large extent, validate the assumptions of the demand model. (JEL G34, L13, L42, L81, Q41, R41)

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Francois Houde, 2012. "Spatial Differentiation and Vertical Mergers in Retail Markets for Gasoline," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2147-2182, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:2147-82

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise


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