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Switching Costs in the Wholesale Distribution of Cigarettes

Author

Listed:
  • Kenneth G. Elzinga
  • David E. Mills

Abstract

Recent theories of price wars triggered by entry assign a critical role to switching costs in explaining price and output changes. Earlier, Elzinga and Mills (1998) showed that actual switching patterns following an episode of new entry in an industry are driven by the fact that buyers have different switching costs. The current paper draws on transaction-specific price and shipments data surrounding the 1984–1985 price war in generic cigarettes to explore the size and determinants of switching costs among wholesale cigarette distributors. Results show that switching costs vary across firms and are nontrivial in magnitude. Several implications of the findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth G. Elzinga & David E. Mills, 1998. "Switching Costs in the Wholesale Distribution of Cigarettes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 282-293, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:2:y:1998:p:282-293
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabrielsen, Tommy Staahl & Vagstad, Steinar, 2003. "Consumer heterogeneity, incomplete information and pricing in a duopoly with switching costs," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 384-401, September.
    2. Akihiro Nakamura, 2010. "Changes in consumers' behavior when a vertically integrated service is separated —The case of Japanese mobile phone services—," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 437-449.
    3. V. Brian Viard, 2007. "Do switching costs make markets more or less competitive? The case of 800-number portability," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 146-163, March.
    4. Nakamura, A., 2011. "Estimating switching costs after introducing Fixed-Mobile Convergence in Japan," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 59-71, March.
    5. Elizabeth Kiser, 2002. "Predicting Household Switching Behavior and Switching Costs at Depository Institutions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(4), pages 349-365, June.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:30:y:2010:i:1:p:437-449 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Shy, Oz, 2002. "A quick-and-easy method for estimating switching costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-87, January.
    8. ALTAF Mohsin & REHMAN Ahmad & ALI Ahmed, 2012. "Determinants Of Customer Switching Behavior In Banking Sector," Studies in Business and Economics, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 7(2), pages 20-34, August.

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