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Entry barriers in Italian retail trade

  • Fabiano Schivardi


    (Universita' di Cagliari)

  • Eliana Viviano


    (Banca d�Italia)

The 1998 reform of the Italian retail trade sector delegated to the regional governments the regulation of entry of large retail shops. We use the local variation in regulation to determine the effects of entry barriers on firm performance for a representative sample of medium and large retail outlets. Using a diff-in-diff approach, we find that entry barriers are associated with substantially higher profit margins and substantially lower productivity of incumbent firms. We also find that liberalizing entry has a positive effect on investment in ICT, which the recent literature has shown to be the main driver of the remarkable sectoral productivity growth in the US. Finally, in the most liberal regions yearly inflation in the CPI component �food and beverages� was approximately half a percentage point lower than in the other regions: higher productivity coupled with lower margins resulted in lower consumer prices.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 616.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_616_07
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