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Sales: Tests of Theories on Causality and Timing

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  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B
  • Perloff, Jeff
  • Berck, Peter
  • Brown, Jen

Abstract

Modern theories of sales make conflicting predictions about the temporal pattern of sales, which we test using grocery scanner data. We examine both frozen orange juice, which consumers can store, and refrigerated orange juice, which is more perishable, to determine what role—if any—durability plays in the pattern of sales. We start with a simple reduced-form probit analysis to examine the timing of sales and whether sales are determined nationally by manufacturers or locally by retailers. We then turn to a vector autoregressive analysis and conduct Granger tests of temporal ordering (“causality tests”) to determine whether the sale of one brand is followed in a predictable way by the sale of another brand or its own later sales. Based on the VAR estimates, we simulate impulse responses to determine the magnitude of these time-series effects. In fact, none of the theories of sales fully describes sale patterns and price distributions. We find product durability makes little difference in sales patterns. We show that, contrary to all the existing theories, retailers rather than manufacturers determine sales. Despite sale patterns not being significantly different for national brands and private label brands, our formal Granger causality analysis shows that a sale of a national brand is more likely to “cause” sales of other products than is a sale of a private label product.
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  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B & Perloff, Jeff & Berck, Peter & Brown, Jen, 2008. "Sales: Tests of Theories on Causality and Timing," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0076k5r6, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt0076k5r6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Berck & Ephraim Leibtag & Alex Solis & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2009. "Patterns of Pass-through of Commodity Price Shocks to Retail Prices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1456-1461.
    2. Empen, Janine & Loy, Jens-Peter & Weiss, Christoph R., 2011. "Price Promotions and Brand Loyalty: Empirical Evidence for the German Breakfast Cereals Market," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114341, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Paul W. Dobson & Sang-Hyun Kim & Hao Lan, 2016. "Identifying Price-Leadership Structures in Oligopoly," Working papers 2016rwp-99, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    4. Sofronis Clerides & Pascal Courty, 2017. "Sales, Quantity Surcharge, and Consumer Inattention," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 357-370, May.
    5. Giovanni Anania & Rosanna Nisticò, 2011. "Price Dispersion, Search Costs And Consumers And Sellers Heterogeneity In Retail Food Markets," Working Papers 201105, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    6. Lloyd, Tim A. & Morgan, C. Wyn & McCorriston, Steve & Zgovu, Evious, 2011. "Do Sales Matter? Evidence from UK Food Retailing," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 108774, Agricultural Economics Society.
    7. Jens-Peter Loy & Christoph R. Weiss, 2009. "Sales by multi-product retailers: a comment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 513-515.
    8. Davis, David E., 2009. "Price and promotion effects of supermarket mergers," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 12009, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2010.
    9. Février, Philippe & Wilner, Lionel, 2016. "Do consumers correctly expect price reductions? Testing dynamic behavior," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 25-40.
    10. repec:spr:series:v:9:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13209-018-0172-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Anania, Giovanni & Nistico, Rosanna, 2012. "Price dispersion, search costs and consumers and sellers heterogeneity in retail food markets," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125594, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Bakucs, Lajos Zoltan & Ferto, Imre, 2009. "Milk Retail Sales Patterns in a Transition Economy. The Case of Hungary," 83rd Annual Conference, March 30 - April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland 50932, Agricultural Economics Society.
    13. Ferto, Imre & Bakucs, Lajos Zoltan, 2009. "The patterns of retail price variation. The case of milk products," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51670, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:3:p:881-900 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Anania, Giovanni & Nisticò, Rosanna, 2014. "Price dispersion and seller heterogeneity in retail food markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 190-201.
    16. Lan, Hao & Lloyd, Tim A. & Morgan, C. Wyn, 2013. "The hazard function of sales: An analysis of UK supermarket food prices," 87th Annual Conference, April 8-10, 2013, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 151972, Agricultural Economics Society.
    17. Fertő, Imre & Bakucs, Lajos Zoltán, 2009. "Árleszállítások és a kiskereskedelmi árak változása a tejtermékek piacán
      [Sales and retail price patterns on the market for milk products]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 634-647.
    18. Richard Volpe, 2013. "Promotional Competition Between Supermarket Chains," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 42(1), pages 45-61, February.

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