The Role of Retail Chains: National, Regional and Industry Results
In: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data
We use the establishment level data in the Longitudinal Business Database to measure changes in market structure in the U.S. Retail Trade sector during the period, 1976 to 2000. We use firm ownership information to construct measures of firm entry and exit and also to categorize four types of retail firms: single location, and local, regional, and national chains. We use detailed location data to examine market structure in both national and county markets. We summarize the county level results into three groups: metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural. We find that retail activity is increasingly occurring at establishments owned by chain firms, especially large national chains. On average, we find that all types of retail firms are increasing in size during the period. We also find that larger markets experience more firm turnover. Finally, we see that entry and exit rates vary across two-digit retail industries.
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