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Is Wal-Mart Good for Competition? Evidence from Milk Prices

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  • Cleary, Rebecca
  • Lopez, Rigoberto

Abstract

This article examines the impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters’ entry on incumbents’ pricing behavior and demand. Using a structural model and milk data from the Dallas/Fort Worth supermarket chains, empirical results show that an expansion of Supercenters caused incumbents to price milk significantly more competitively, dropping on average 22.5% between 1996 and 2002, in spite of declines in their milk demand. Furthermore, consumer gains exceeded incumbent losses, lending further support to the notion that Wal-Mart is good for competition and consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Cleary, Rebecca & Lopez, Rigoberto, 2007. "Is Wal-Mart Good for Competition? Evidence from Milk Prices," Research Reports 149207, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uconnr:149207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Capps, Oral, Jr. & Griffin, James M., 1998. "Effect Of A Mass Merchandiser On Traditional Food Retailers," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 29(1), February.
    2. Ronald Cotterill & William Putsis, 2000. "Market Share and Price Setting Behavior for Private Labels and National Brands," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 17(1), pages 17-39, August.
    3. Neumark, David & Zhang, Junfu & Ciccarella, Stephen, 2008. "The effects of Wal-Mart on local labor markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 405-430, March.
    4. Jean Kinsey & Ben Senauer, 1996. "Consumer Trends and Changing Food Retailing Formats," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1187-1191.
    5. Emek Basker & Michael Noel, 2009. "The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry into the Supermarket Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 977-1009, December.
    6. Benaissa Chidmi & Rigoberto A. Lopez & Ronald W. Cotterill, 2005. "Retail oligopoly power, dairy compact, and Boston milk prices," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 477-491.
    7. Georgeanne M. Artz & Kenneth E. Stone, 2006. "Analyzing the Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Local Food Store Sales," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1296-1303.
    8. Rigoberto Lopez & Azzeddine Azzam & Carmen Lirón-España, 2002. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: A Structural Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(2), pages 115-126, March.
    9. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
    10. Gould, Brian W., 1996. "Factors Affecting U.S. Demand For Reduced-Fat Fluid Milk," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 21(01), July.
    11. Vishal P. Singh & Karsten T. Hansen & Robert C. Blattberg, 2006. "Market Entry and Consumer Behavior: An Investigation of a Wal-Mart Supercenter," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(5), pages 457-476, September.
    12. Chidmi, Benaissa, 2007. "Supermarkets Price Competition in Dallas - Fort Worth Fluid Milk Market," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 9677, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wal-Mart; competition; conduct; entry; supermarkets; food retailing; Marketing; L10; L19; L66; L59;

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L19 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Other
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • L59 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Other

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