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Commodity price inflation, retail pass-through and market power

Author

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  • Richards, Timothy J.
  • Allender, William J.
  • Hamilton, Stephen F.

Abstract

When commodity prices rise, wholesalers and retailers of products derived from basic commodities respond by passing along at least a portion of the price increase to consumers. In this paper we examine whether firms respond differently to positive commodity price shocks than to negative commodity price shocks; that is, whether commodity price volatility alters market power. We exploit recent volatility in food commodity prices over the period 2007–2010 to investigate how commodity price shocks translate into market power in two different vertically-structured food product industries: potatoes and fluid milk. For potatoes, we find both wholesale and retail market power decreases (increases) during periods of rising (falling) commodity prices. Moreover, price–cost margins widen a substantially greater degree in response to negative shocks than margins narrow in response to positive shocks, indicating that commodity price volatility increases market power. For fluid milk, we find that market power likewise declines during periods of rising commodity prices; however, market power does not significantly change during periods of falling commodity prices, suggesting that commodity price volatility decreases market power.

Suggested Citation

  • Richards, Timothy J. & Allender, William J. & Hamilton, Stephen F., 2012. "Commodity price inflation, retail pass-through and market power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 50-57.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:30:y:2012:i:1:p:50-57
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2011.05.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Moses Tule & Afees A. Salisu & Charles Chimeke, 2018. "You are what you eat: The role of oil price in Nigeria inflation forecast," Working Papers 040, Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan.
    2. Li, Xun & Lopez, Rigoberto A., 2015. "Energy Price Transmission and Retail Milk Prices," Working Papers 38, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    3. An, Henry & Qiu, Feng & Zheng, Yanan, 2016. "How do export controls affect price transmission and volatility spillovers in the Ukrainian wheat and flour markets?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 142-150.
    4. Mensi, Walid & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & Nguyen, Duc Khuong & Yoon, Seong-Min, 2014. "Dynamic spillovers among major energy and cereal commodity prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 225-243.
    5. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:212-224 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Market power; Pass-through; Random parameter model;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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