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

  • Loreto Lira
  • Magdalena Ugarte
  • Rodrigo Vergara

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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 36 (December)
Pages: 4731-4744

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:36:p:4731-4744
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  1. 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.
  2. Asplund, Marcus & Friberg, Richard, 2002. " Food Prices and Market Structure in Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 547-66, December.
  3. Loreto Lira & Rosario Rivero & Rodrigo Vergara, 2007. "Entry and Prices: Evidence from the Supermarket Sector," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 237-260, December.
  4. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," NBER Working Papers 9120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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