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

  • Cleary, Rebecca
  • Lopez, Rigoberto

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.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center in its series Research Reports with number 149207.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uconnr:149207
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  1. Cotterill, Ronald W. & Putsis, William P., Jr. & Dhar, Ravi, 2000. "Market Share and Price Setting Behavior For Private Labels and National Brands," Research Reports 25209, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  2. David Neumark & Junfu Zhang & Stephen Ciccarella, 2006. "The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets," Working Papers 060711, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  3. Chidmi, Benaissa, 2007. "Supermarkets Price Competition in Dallas Fort Worth Fluid Milk Market," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34961, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  4. 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.
  5. Emek Basker & Michael Noel, 2007. "The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry into the Supermarket Industry," Working Papers 0712, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  6. Rigoberto Lopez & Azzeddine Azzam & Carmen Lirón-España, 2002. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: A Structural Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 115-126, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
  9. Chidmi, Benaissa & Lopez, Rigoberto A. & Cotterill, Ronald W., 2004. "Retail Oligopoly Power, Dairy Compact, And Boston Milk Prices," Research Reports 25212, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  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. 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.
  12. 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.
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