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Price Dispersion and Accessibility: A Case Study of Fast Food

  • Hayden Stewart

    ()

    (Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture)

  • David E. Davis

    ()

    (Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture)

This study examines spatial variation in the price and accessibility of fast food across a major urban area. We use novel data on the price of a representative fast-food meal and the location of fast-food restaurants belonging to one of three major chains in the District of Columbia and its surrounding suburbs. These data are used to test a structural model of spatial competition. The results of this study are easily interpreted and compared with a past analysis. We find that spatial differences in costs and demand conditions drive variation in the number of firms operating in a market, which in turn affects prices.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 71 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 784-799

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:71:4:y:2005:p:784-799
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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  1. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  2. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Frankel, D.M., 1996. "The (Retail) Price of Inequality," Papers 23-96, Tel Aviv.
  4. MacLeod, W.B. & Norman, G. & Thisse, J.-F., 1988. "Price discrimination and equilibrium in monopolistic competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 429-446.
  5. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  6. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  8. Capozza, Dennis R & Van Order, Robert, 1978. "A Generalized Model of Spatial Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 896-908, December.
  9. Graddy, Kathryn, 1997. "Do Fast-Food Chains Price Discriminate on the Race and Income Characteristics of an Area?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 391-401, October.
  10. Rath, Kali P. & Zhao, Gongyun, 2001. "Two stage equilibrium and product choice with elastic demand," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1441-1455, November.
  11. Lahiri, Kajal & Schmidt, Peter, 1978. "On the Estimation of Triangular Structural Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1217-21, September.
  12. MacDonald, James M. & Nelson, Paul Jr., 1991. "Do the poor still pay more? Food price variations in large metropolitan areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 344-359, November.
  13. Capozza, Dennis R & Van Order, Robert, 1980. "Unique Equilibria, Pure Profits, and Efficiency in Location Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1046-53, December.
  14. Stewart, Hayden & Blisard, Noel & Bhuyan, Sanjib & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2004. "The Demand For Food Away From Home: Full-Service Or Fast Food?," Agricultural Economics Reports 33953, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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