The Food Retail Revolution in Poor Countries: Is It Coming or Is It Over?
Global retail chains are becoming increasingly dominant in the global food trade, and their rise leads to dramatic impacts on agricultural supply chains and on small producers. However, the prospects and impacts of a food retail revolution in poor countries are not yet well understood. Here, I examine this question in Madagascar, a poor but stable country in which global retailers have been present for over a decade. The survey and analysis find that while global retail chains sell better-quality food, their prices are 40%â€“90% higher, ceteris paribus, than those seen in traditional retail markets. In poor settings, characterized by high food price elasticities, a lack of willingness to pay for quality, and small retail margins, supermarkets appear to set prices with an eye toward maximizing profits on the basis of price-inelastic demands for quality products from a small middle class interested in one-stop shopping. It seems unlikely that global retail chains will further increase their food retail share in such poor settings.
Volume (Year): 56 (2008)
Issue (Month): ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Deaton, Angus, 1988. "Quality, Quantity, and Spatial Variation of Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 418-430, June.
- Ulrich Lehmann-Grube, 1997. "Strategic Choice of Quality When Quality is Costly: The Persistence of the High-Quality Advantage," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 372-384, Summer.
- Liesbeth Dries & Thomas Reardon & Johan F. M. Swinnen, 2004. "The Rapid Rise of Supermarkets in Central and Eastern Europe: Implications for the Agrifood Sector and Rural Development," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22, pages 525-556, September.
- C. Dolan & J. Humphrey, 2000. "Governance and Trade in Fresh Vegetables: The Impact of UK Supermarkets on the African Horticulture Industry," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 147-176.
- Garrett, James L., ed. & Ruel, Marie T., ed., 2000. "Achieving urban food and nutrition security in the developing world:," 2020 vision focus 3, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Ellickson, Paul B., 2006. "Quality competition in retailing: A structural analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 521-540, May.
- Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
- Howard Smith, 2004. "Supermarket Choice and Supermarket Competition in Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 235-263.
- Margaret E. Slade & G.R.E.Q.A.M., 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107.
- Dinghuan Hu & Thomas Reardon & Scott Rozelle & Peter Timmer & Honglin Wang, 2004. "The Emergence of Supermarkets with Chinese Characteristics: Challenges and Opportunities for China's Agricultural Development," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22, pages 557-586, September.
- Elizabeth M.M.Q. Farina & Rubens Nunes & Guilherme F. de A Monteiro, 2005. "Supermarkets and their impacts on the agrifood system of Brazil: The competition among retailers," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 133-147.
- Dave D. Weatherspoon & Thomas Reardon, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa: Implications for Agrifood Systems and the Rural Poor," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21, pages 333-355, May.
- Pinstrup-Andersen, Per, 1985. "Food Prices and the Poor in Developing Countries," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 12(1-2), pages 69-81.
- Paul W. Dobson & Michael Waterson, 2005. "Chain-Store Pricing Across Local Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 93-119, March.