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Retail Prices for Milk by Fat Content: A New Theory and Empirical Test of Retailer Pricing Behavior

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  • Xia, Tian
  • Sexton, Richard J.

Abstract

We study a heretofore unexamined type of product differentiation, horizontally differentiated products with differential costs, and apply the analysis to retail pricing of fluid milk products. The theoretical models yield unique predictions for the relationship among prices of the four horizontally differentiated fluid milk products (skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milk) and the impacts of butterfat and nonfat milk costs on prices, depending upon the form of retail competition. An empirical analysis of retail milk pricing for four major cities in California enables tests to be conducted of which form of behavior best characterizes grocery retailing in these cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Xia, Tian & Sexton, Richard J., 2009. "Retail Prices for Milk by Fat Content: A New Theory and Empirical Test of Retailer Pricing Behavior," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 1-20, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:54546
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.54546
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Calvin, Linda & Cook, Roberta L. & Denbaly, Mark & Dimitri, Carolyn & Glaser, Lewrene K. & Handy, Charles R. & Jekanowski, Mark D. & Kaufman, Phillip R. & Krissoff, Barry & Thompson, Gary D. & Thornsb, 2001. "U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing: Emerging Trade Practices, Trends, and Issues," Agricultural Economic Reports 33915, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Sexton, Richard & Zhang, Mingxia & Chalfant, James, 2003. "Grocery Retailer Behavior in the Procurement and Sale of Perishable Fresh Produce," Contractor and Cooperator Reports 291974, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Jean-Paul Chavas & Aashish Mehta, 2004. "Price Dynamics in a Vertical Sector: The Case of Butter," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1078-1093.
    4. Lass, Daniel A. & Adanu, Mawunyo & Allen, P. Geoffrey, 2001. "Impacts of the Northeast Dairy Compact on New England Retail Prices," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 83-92, April.
    5. Ellickson, Paul, 2005. "Does Sutton Apply to Supermarkets?," Working Papers 05-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    6. Barry K. Goodwin & Matthew T. Holt, 1999. "Price Transmission and Asymmetric Adjustment in the U.S. Beef Sector," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 630-637.
    7. repec:cdl:compol:217 is not listed on IDEAS
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