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Public Monopoly and Economic Efficiency: Evidence from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's Entry Decisions

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  • Katja Seim
  • Joel Waldfogel

Abstract

We estimate a spatial model of liquor demand to analyze the impact of government-controlled retailing on entry patterns. In the absence of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the state would have roughly 2.5 times the current number of stores, higher consumer surplus, and lower payments to liquor store employees. With just over half the number of stores that would maximize welfare, the government system is instead best rationalized as profit maximization with profit sharing. Government operation mitigates, but does not eliminate, free entry's bias against rural consumers. We find only limited evidence of political influence on entry. (JEL D42, D72, L11, L12, L43, L81)

Suggested Citation

  • Katja Seim & Joel Waldfogel, 2013. "Public Monopoly and Economic Efficiency: Evidence from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's Entry Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 831-862, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:2:p:831-62
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.2.831
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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. de Palma, Andre & Ginsburgh, Victor & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1987. "On Existence of Location Equilibria in the 3-Firm Hotelling Problem," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 245-252, December.
    3. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
    4. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1999. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 397-420, Autumn.
    5. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 2000. "Alcohol," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 30, pages 1629-1673 Elsevier.
    6. Small, Kenneth A & Rosen, Harvey S, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 105-130, January.
    7. Andrew Sweeting, 2010. "The effects of mergers on product positioning: evidence from the music radio industry," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(2), pages 372-397.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barry Scholnick & Hyungsuk Byun, 2016. "Do Slot Machines Cause Bankruptcy? A Regulatory Natural Experiment with Exogenous Changes to Slot Locations," ERSA conference papers ersa16p607, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Michael W. Walrath, 2016. "Entry Models Applied to Churches: Could Protestants use a Catholic Bishop to Solve Excess Entry?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 557-588, September.
    3. Miravete, Eugenio J & Seim, Katja & Thurk, Jeff, 2013. "Complexity, Efficiency, and Fairness of Multi-Product Monopoly Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 9641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Chen, Chia-Wen, 2014. "Estimating the foreclosure effect of exclusive dealing: Evidence from the entry of specialty beer producers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 47-64.
    5. Christos Genakos & Pantelis Koutroumpis & Mario Pagliero, 2014. "The Impact of Maximum Markup Regulation on Prices," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 371, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    6. Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith, 2017. "Design of optimal corrective taxes in the alcohol market," IFS Working Papers W17/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith, 2017. "Tax design in the alcohol market," IFS Working Papers W17/28, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Eugenio J. Miravete & Katja Seim & Jeff Thurk, 2017. "One Markup to Rule Them All: Taxation by Liquor Pricing Regulation," NBER Working Papers 24124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dai, Mian & Yuan, Yuan, 2013. "Product differentiation and efficiencies in the retail banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4907-4919.
    10. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2014. "Competition and Ideological Diversity: Historical Evidence from US Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3073-3114, October.
    11. Steven Berry & Alon Eizenberg & Joel Waldfogel, 2016. "Fixed Costs and the Product Market Treatment of Preference Minorities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 466-493, September.
    12. Mikhed, Vyacheslav & Scholnick, Barry, 2014. "Financial benefits, travel costs, and bankruptcy," Working Papers 14-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    13. Guillermo Díaz & Vincent Charles, 2016. "Regulatory design and technical efficiency: public transport in France," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 328-350, December.
    14. Matthew Grennan & Robert Town, 2015. "Regulating Innovation with Uncertain Quality: Information, Risk, and Access in Medical Devices," NBER Working Papers 20981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Mikhed, Vyacheslav & Scholnick, Barry, 2015. "Who is screened out of social insurance programs by entry barriers? Evidence from consumer bankruptcies," Working Papers 15-40, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    16. Pozzi, Andrea & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2015. "Entry Regulation in Retail Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Jeff Thurk, 2015. "Measuring the Unequal Implications of One Size Fits All Regulation," 2015 Meeting Papers 1251, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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