Is There Market Power in the French Comte Cheese Market?
An NEIO approach is used to measure seller market power in the French Comté cheese market, characterised by government-approved supply control. The estimation is performed on quarterly data at the wholesale stage over the period 1985-2005. Three different elasticity shifters are included in the demand specification, and the supply equation accounts for the existence of the European dairy quota policy. The market power estimate is small and statistically insignificant. Monopoly is rejected, as well as weak forms of Cournot oligopoly. Results appear to be robust to the choice of functional form, and suggest little effect of the supply control scheme on consumer prices.
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