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Prices and market structure: an empirical analysis of the supermarket industry in Chile

Author

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  • Loreto Lira
  • Magdalena Ugarte
  • Rodrigo Vergara

Abstract

This article investigates empirically the relationship between market structure and consumer prices in the supermarket industry in Chile. A panel of monthly data from 16 cities in the period January 1998--September 2006 is used. We find that, the more concentrated the industry in a city, the higher the prices, while the participation of major national chains in cities tends to lower prices. In terms of magnitude, this latter effect prevails over the former. Moreover, the dominant local chain is found to behave differently depending on whether or not one of the national chains is present in the city. Finally, we find that prices rise when a national chain acquires another chain and both were previously in a city (inmerge) while if only one of the two was present (outmerge), prices fall.

Suggested Citation

  • Loreto Lira & Magdalena Ugarte & Rodrigo Vergara, 2012. "Prices and market structure: an empirical analysis of the supermarket industry in Chile," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(36), pages 4731-4744, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:36:p:4731-4744
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.595689
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Asplund, Marcus & Friberg, Richard, 2002. " Food Prices and Market Structure in Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 547-566, December.
    2. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1997. "Is the U.S. economy really growing too slowly?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Mar, pages 3-14.
    4. Loreto Lira & Rosario Rivero & Rodrigo Vergara, 2007. "Entry and Prices: Evidence from the Supermarket Sector," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(4), pages 237-260, December.
    5. John G. Fernald & Shanthi Ramnath, 2004. "The acceleration in U.S. total productivity after 1995: the role of information technology," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 52-67.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gastón Chaumont & Miguel Fuentes & Felipe Labbé & Alberto Naudon, 2011. "Dinámica de Precios en Chile: Evidencia con datos de Supermercados," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 642, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Caglayan, Mustafa & Filiztekin, Alpay, 2015. "Price dynamics and market segmentation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 94-97.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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