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The Outputs of Retail Activities: Concepts, Measurement and Evidence from U.S. Census Data

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  • Betancourt, Roger R
  • Gautschi, David A

Abstract

The authors develop a new economic framework for the empirical analysis of retail margins. This framework formalizes the role of distribution services as outputs of retail activities. Their main results are the following: the measures of outputs of retail activities identified in the data perform as important and robust determinants of retail margins; variables that purport to capture oligopolistic features of market structure play a limited or no role in determining retail margins; quantity setting and price setting under the assumptions of profit maximization and monopolistic competition are categorically rejected by the data. The data base is information on 49 retail sectors from the 1982 U.S. Census of Retail Trades. Copyright 1993 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Betancourt, Roger R & Gautschi, David A, 1993. "The Outputs of Retail Activities: Concepts, Measurement and Evidence from U.S. Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 294-301, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:75:y:1993:i:2:p:294-301
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Bonanno & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 2007. "Competition Effects of Supermarket Services," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 555-568.
    2. Robert Inklaar & Marcel Timmer, 2008. "Accounting for growth in retail trade: an international productivity comparison," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 23-31, February.
    3. Vries, Gaaitzen J. de, 2008. "Did Liberalization Start A Retail Revolution In Brazil?," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-105, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. NAKAJIMA Takanobu, 2007. "Is Retail Service Productivity Really Low in Japan? -- Numerical experiment based on Shepard's model --," ESRI Discussion paper series 193, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Libia Santos-Requejo & Óscar González-Benito, 2000. "Economic Success Factors in Spanish Small Retail Businesses. An Analysis Based on Sector-Relative Definitions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 209-222, November.
    8. Novella Bottini & Mohamed Ali Marouani, 2009. "An Estimation of Service Sectors Restrictiveness in The MENA Region," Working Papers 489, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2009.
    9. Gaaitzen J. Vries, 2014. "Productivity in a Distorted Market: The Case of Brazil's Retail Sector," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(3), pages 499-524, September.
    10. Harchaoui, Tarek M., 2012. "A Quarter of a Century Progress Report on the Services Sector Productivity Statistics. A Europe-United States Perspective," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-125, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    11. Bonanno, Alessandro & Chenarides, Lauren & Goetz, Stephan J., 2012. "Limited Food Access as an Equilibrium Outcome: An Empirical Analysis," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA 123196, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Roger Betancourt & David Gautschi, 1996. "An international comparison of the determinants of retail gross margins," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 173-189, June.
    13. Cristina Suárez & Justo Jorge, 2010. "Efficiency convergence processes and effects of regulation in the nonspecialized retail sector in Spain," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(3), pages 573-597, June.
    14. Ad van Riet & Moreno Roma, 2006. "Competition, productivity and prices in the euro area services sector," Occasional Paper Series 44, European Central Bank.
    15. Christian Broda & Ephraim Leibtag & David E. Weinstein, 2009. "The Role of Prices in Measuring the Poor's Living Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 77-97, Spring.
    16. Timmer, Marcel & Inklaar, Robert, 2005. "Productivity differentials in the U.S. and EU distributive trade sector: statistical myth or reality," GGDC Research Memorandum 200576, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    17. MATSUURA Toshiyuki & SUNADA Mitsuru, 2009. "Measurement of the Consumer Benefit of Competition in Retail Outlets," Discussion papers 09015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    18. Digal, Larry N. & Ahmadi-Esfahani, Fredoun Z., 2002. "Market power analysis in the retail food industry: a survey of methods," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(4), December.
    19. Miquel Faig & Belen Jerez, 2003. "A Theory of Commerce: Competitive Search Under Private Information," Working Papers faig-02-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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