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Supplier responses to Walmart's invasion in Mexico

Author

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  • Iacovone, Leonardo
  • Javorcik, Beata
  • Keller, Wolfgang
  • Tybout, James

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of Walmart's entry into Mexico on Mexican manufacturers of consumer goods. Guided by firm interviews that suggested substantial heterogeneity across firms in how they responded to Walmart's entry, we develop a dynamic industry model in which firms decide whether to sell their products through Walmex (short for Walmart de Mexico), or use traditional retailers. Walmex provides access to a larger market, but it puts continuous pressure on its suppliers to improve their product's appeal, and it forces them to accept relatively low prices relative to product appeal. Simulations of the model show that the arrival of Walmex separates potential suppliers into two groups. Those with relatively high-appeal products choose Walmex as their retailer, whereas those with lower appeal products do not. For the industry as a whole, the model predicts that the associated market share reallocations, adjustments in innovative effort, and exit patterns increase productivity and the rate of innovation. These predictions accord well with the results from our firm interviews. The model's predictions are also supported by establishment-level panel data that characterize Mexican producers' domestic sales, investments, and productivity gains in states with differing levels of Walmex presence during the years 1994 to 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata & Keller, Wolfgang & Tybout, James, 2015. "Supplier responses to Walmart's invasion in Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:95:y:2015:i:1:p:1-15
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2014.08.003
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:weltar:v:153:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10290-017-0284-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cheptea, Angela & Emlinger, Charlotte & Latouche, Karine, 2012. "Multinational Retailers and Home Country Exports," 2012: New Rules of Trade? December 2012, San Diego, California 142777, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    3. Cho, Janghee & Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Yoonsoo, 2015. "How does the entry of large discount stores increase retail employment? Evidence from Korea," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 559-574.
    4. David Atkin & Benjamin Faber & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, 2018. "Retail Globalization and Household Welfare: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-73.
    5. Pamela Bombarda & Sarra Ben Yahmed, 2017. "Gender, Informal Employment and Trade Liberalization in Mexico," THEMA Working Papers 2017-03, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    6. Lanz, Rainer & Piermartini, Roberta, 2018. "Specialization within global value chains: The role of additive transport costs," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2018-05, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    7. Sara Amoroso & Bettina Müller, 2018. "The short-run effects of knowledge intensive greenfield FDI on new domestic entry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 815-836, June.
    8. Blanchard, Emily & Chesnokova, Tatyana & Willmann, Gerald, 2013. "Private labels and international trade: Trading variety for volume," Kiel Working Papers 1829, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. repec:eee:inecon:v:112:y:2018:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Piermartini, Roberta & Rubínová, Stela, 2014. "Knowledge spillovers through international supply chains," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-11, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    11. Emlinger, Charlotte & Poncet, Sandra, 2018. "With a little help from my friends: Multinational retailers and China's consumer market penetration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-12.
    12. repec:spr:weltar:v:154:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10290-017-0298-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Cheptea, Angela, 2016. "Multinational retailers and host countries’ export competitiveness," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244952, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retailing; Innovation; Foreign direct investment; Reallocation;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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