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Product Differentiation and Firm Size Distribution: An Application to Carbonated Soft Drinks

  • Patrick Paul Walsh
  • Ciara Whelan

Using brand-level retail data, the firm size distribution in carbonated soft drinks is shown to be an outcome of the degree to which firms have placed brands effectively (store coverage) across vertical (flavour, packaging, diet attributes) segments of the market. Regularity of the firm size distribution is not disturbed by the nature of short-run brand competition (turbulence in brand market share) within segments. Remarkably, product differentiation resulting from firms acquiring various portfolios of product attributes and stores in market evolution determines the limiting firm size distribution.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/ei/ei31.pdf
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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers with number 31.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stieip:31
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Hausman, Jerry A. & Taylor, William E., 1981. "Panel data and unobservable individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 155-155, May.
  2. Luigi Buzzacchi & Tommaso Valletti, 1999. "Firm size distribution: testing the "independent submarkets model" in the Italian motor insurance industry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6749, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  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. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  5. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
  6. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, December.
  7. Walsh, Patrick Paul & Whelan, Ciara, 1999. "Modelling Price Dispersion as an Outcome of Competition in the Irish Grocery Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 325-43, September.
  8. Jerry HAUSMAN & Gregory LEONARD & J. Douglas ZONA, 1994. "Competitive Analysis with Differentiated Products," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 34, pages 159-180.
  9. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  10. Steven Klepper & Kenneth L. Simons, 2000. "The Making of an Oligopoly: Firm Survival and Technological Change in the Evolution of the U.S. Tire Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 728-760, August.
  11. Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 1999. "A Rationale for Repealing the 1987 Groceries Order," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 71-90.
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