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Are they always offering the lowest price? An empirical analysis of the persistence of price dispersion in a low inflation environment

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  • Sebnem Bahadir-Lust

    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria)

  • Jens-Peter Loy

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany)

  • Christoph R. Weiss

    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria)

Abstract

We study the existence of price distributions and the intra-distribution dynamics for 10 food products across 131 retail stores in Germany for a time period of 43 weeks. Based upon Varian's (1980) model of sales, we aim at investigating whether the position of stores within the cross-sectional price distribution is persistent or changes over time (mixed-strategy equilibrium). Our results suggest a substantial degree of price dispersion even after controlling for unobserved store heterogeneity. Despite some intra-distribution dynamics, we find evidence for a persistence of stores in the cross-sectional price distribution over time. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebnem Bahadir-Lust & Jens-Peter Loy & Christoph R. Weiss, 2007. "Are they always offering the lowest price? An empirical analysis of the persistence of price dispersion in a low inflation environment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 777-788.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:28:y:2007:i:7:p:777-788
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hoffman, Angela & Senkler, Heike, 2011. "Interformat price competition of multi-product retailers: Evidence for German grocery retailing," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114533, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Daniel Levy, 2007. "Price rigidity and flexibility: new empirical evidence," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 639-647.
    3. Anania, Giovanni & Nistico, Rosanna, 2012. "Price dispersion, search costs and consumers and sellers heterogeneity in retail food markets," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125594, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Dieter Pennerstorfer & Philipp Schmidt-Dengler & Nicolas Schutz & Christoph R. Weiss & Biliana Yontcheva, 2015. "Information and Price Dispersion. Theory and Evidence," WIFO Working Papers 502, WIFO.
    5. Anania, Giovanni & Nisticò, Rosanna, 2014. "Price dispersion and seller heterogeneity in retail food markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 190-201.

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