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Strategic Vertical Pricing in the U.S. Butter Market

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  • Du, Ying
  • Stiegert, Kyle W.

Abstract

This article develops a methodology for empirically analyzing vertically strategic interactions in a multi-level supply channel. The model is used to analyze the vertical channel for U.S. butter manufacturing and retailing. Aggregating products to the firm level and using a nonlinear AIDS demand system under alternative strategic pricing assumptions is estimated using full information maximum likelihood (FIML) for seven geographic markets from 1998-2002. The market demand for butter was found to very price elastic. Furthermore, cross price elasticities between private labels and the two large national brands were also very elastic. The selected market structure was one indicating category profit maximization of national brands (separate from private label) at the retail level, Vertical Nash competition in the vertical channel, and Bretrand competition at the manufacturing level. Our results strongly suggest that the retail market for food products is impacted by the underlying vertical structure. The study provides useful measures of imperfect competition in the retail manufacturing sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Du, Ying & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2009. "Strategic Vertical Pricing in the U.S. Butter Market," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 51712, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:51712
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/51712/files/vertical_butter.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cotterill, Ronald W & Putsis, William P, Jr & Dhar, Ravi, 2000. "Assessing the Competitive Interaction between Private Labels and National Brands," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(1), pages 109-137, January.
    2. Brian W. Gould, 1998. "Factors Affecting the Timing of Purchasing of Butter, Margarine, and Blends: A Competing Goods Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 793-805.
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    4. Ronald W. Cotterill & William P. Putsis Jr., 1998. "Testing the Theory: Vertical Strategic Interaction and Demand Functional Form," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 040, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    5. Dhar, Tirtha Pratim & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Gould, Brian W., 2002. "An Empirical Assessment of Endogeneity Issues In Demand Analysis for Differentiated Products," Research Reports 25227, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
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    8. Shinn-Shyr Wang & Kyle W. Stiegert & Tirtha P. Dhar, 2010. "Strategic Pricing Behavior under Asset Value Maximization," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(2), pages 151-170, June.
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    Keywords

    Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Demand and Price Analysis; Industrial Organization;

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