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Retail Zone Pricing and Simulated Price Effects of Upstream Mergers

  • Geoffrey Pofahl
  • Oral Capps
  • H. Alan Love

Despite the oft-recognized reality of zone pricing by food retailers, this form of price discrimination has received very little attention within the context of upstream merger analysis. Promoting this issue to 'center stage', we relax the conventional merger simulation assumption of uniform pass-through by retailers. Relaxing this assumption allows us to explore the potential impacts of zone pricing on post-merger price effects. Using the ready-to-eat cereals industry as a backdrop, we show empirically that high-income price zones are more significantly affected by post-merger price increases than low-income price zones. Ignoring retail price discrimination veils a potentially complex and diverse set of price effects that are otherwise lost by averaging across all price zones.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13571510600784433
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 195-215

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:13:y:2006:i:2:p:195-215
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  1. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Research Reports 25164, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  2. Luke Froeb & Daniel Hosken & Janis Pappalardo, 2004. "Economics Research at the FTC: Information, Retrospectives, and Retailing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 353-374, October.
  3. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  4. David L. Edgerton, 1997. "Weak Separability and the Estimation of Elasticities in Multistage Demand Systems," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 62-79.
  5. Slade, Margaret E, 1995. "Product Rivalry with Multiple Strategic Weapons: An Analysis of Price and Advertising Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 445-76, Fall.
  6. Alston, Julian M & Foster, Kenneth A & Green, Richard D, 1994. "Estimating Elasticities with the Linear Approximate Almost Ideal Demand System: Some Monte Carlo Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 351-56, May.
  7. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-26, October.
  8. Venkatesh Shankar & Ruth N. Bolton, 2004. "An Empirical Analysis of Determinants of Retailer Pricing Strategy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 28-49, May.
  9. Capps Jr., Oral & Church, Jeffrey & Alan Love, H., 2003. "Specification issues and confidence intervals in unilateral price effects analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 3-31, March.
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