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The Role of Retail Chains: National, Regional, and Industry Results


  • Ronald Jarmin
  • Shawn Klimek
  • Javier Miranda


We use the establishment level data in the Longitudinal Business Database to measure changes in market structure in the U.S. Retail Trade sector during the period, 1976 to 2000. We use firm ownership information to construct measures of firm entry and exit and also to categorize four types of retail firms: single location, and local, regional, and national chains. We use detailed location data to examine market structure in both national and county markets. We summarize the county level results into three groups: metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural. We find that retail activity is increasingly occurring at establishments owned by chain firms, especially large national chains. On average, we find that all types of retail firms are increasing in size during the period. We also find that larger markets experience more firm turnover. Finally, we see that entry and exit rates vary across two-digit retail industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Jarmin & Shawn Klimek & Javier Miranda, 2005. "The Role of Retail Chains: National, Regional, and Industry Results," Working Papers 05-30, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:05-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emek Basker, 2005. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 174-183, February.
    2. Holmes, Thomas J, 2001. "Bar Codes Lead to Frequent Deliveries and Superstores," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 708-725, Winter.
    3. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, July.
    5. Emin M. Dinlersoz, 2004. "Firm Organization and the Structure of Retail Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 207-240, June.
    6. Mark Doms & Ron Jarmin & Shawn Klimek, 2004. "Information technology investment and firm performance in US retail trade," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 595-613.
    7. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey & Daniel F. Spulber, 1997. "Dynamic Retail Price and Investment Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 207-227, Summer.
    8. Marcus Asplund & Volker Nocke, 2003. "Firm Turnover in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    9. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2006. "Market Selection, Reallocation, and Restructuring in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 748-758, November.
    10. Ellickson, Paul, 2005. "Supermarkets as a Natural Oligopoly," Working Papers 05-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    11. Jarmin Ron S & Miranda Javier, 2009. "The Impact of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma on Business Establishments," Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-29, April.
    12. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    More about this item


    retail trade; chain store; dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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