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The Impact of Retail Mergers on Food Prices: Evidence from France

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  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B
  • Turolla, Stephane
  • Chambolle, Claire
  • Allain, MArie-Laure

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of a merger in the French retail sector on food prices, using a consumer panel data. We perform a difference-in-differences analysis by comparing price changes in stores for which the local market structure is affected by the merger to unaffected stores. In addition, we empirically investigate economic forces behind the observed price changes. On average, we find that the merger significantly raised competitors' prices contemporaneously with merging firms' price increases. Further, we show that competitor prices increase more in local markets that experience larger structural changes in concentration and chain differentiation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B & Turolla, Stephane & Chambolle, Claire & Allain, MArie-Laure, 2016. "The Impact of Retail Mergers on Food Prices: Evidence from France," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt30t981mm, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt30t981mm
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Argentesi & Paolo Buccirossi & Roberto Cervone & Tomaso Duso & Alessia Marrazzo, 2018. "Price or Variety? An Evaluation of Mergers Effects in Grocery Retailing," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1734, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Luca Aguzzoni & Elena Argentesi & Lorenzo Ciari & Tomaso Duso & Massimo Tognoni, 2016. "Ex post Merger Evaluation in the U.K. Retail Market for Books," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 170-200, March.
    3. Elena Argentesi & Paolo Buccirossi & Roberto Cervone & Tomaso Duso & Alessia Marrazzo, 2018. "Price or Variety? An Evaluation of Mergers Effects in Grocery Retailing," CESifo Working Paper Series 7035, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Brian Adams & Kevin R. Williams, 2017. "Zone Pricing in Retail Oligopoly," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2079, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Cakir, Metin & Balagtas, Joseph Valdes & Okrent, Abigail M., 2014. "The impact of package size on consumption," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182776, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Rickert, Dennis & Schain, Jan Philip & Stiebale, Joel, 2018. "Local market structure and consumer prices: Evidence from a retail merger," DICE Discussion Papers 280, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    7. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(S3), pages 67-100.
    8. Secor, William & Çakır, Metin, 2016. "Impacts from a retail grocery acquisition: Do national and store brand prices respond differently?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235945, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Argentesi, Elena & Buccirossi, Paolo & Cervone, Roberto & Duso, Tomaso & Marrazzo, Alessia, 2016. "The effect of retail mergers on prices and variety: An ex-post evaluation," DICE Discussion Papers 225, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco

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