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Market Concentration and Product Variety under Spatial Competition: Evidence from Retail Gasoline

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  • Georg Goetz
  • Klaus Gugler

Abstract

We show that for a spatially differentiated economy reduced product variety is the likely outcome of mergers except in cases where exit costs in relation to (outlet-specific) fixed costs are high. Our empirical analysis of the Austrian retail gasoline market confirms that increases in concentration reduce product variety. Ignoring this product variety effect is likely to lead to an underestimate of market power in structural merger analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Georg Goetz & Klaus Gugler, 2004. "Market Concentration and Product Variety under Spatial Competition: Evidence from Retail Gasoline," CESifo Working Paper Series 1289, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1289
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John S. Heywood & Kristen Monaco & R. Rothschild, 2001. "Spatial Price Discrimination and Merger: The N-Firm Case," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 672-684, January.
    2. Martinez-Giralt, Xavier & Neven, Damien J, 1988. "Can Price Competition Dominate Market Segmentation?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 431-442, June.
    3. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
    4. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    5. Gerhard Clemenz & Klaus Gugler, 2006. "Locational choice and price competition: some empirical results for the austrian retail gasoline market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 291-312, June.
    6. Ivaldi, Marc & Verboven, Frank, 2005. "Quantifying the effects from horizontal mergers in European competition policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 669-691, December.
    7. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
    8. Janet S. Netz & Beck A. Taylor, 2002. "Maximum Or Minimum Differentiation? Location Patterns Of Retail Outlets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 162-175, February.
    9. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2001. "Do Mergers Increase Product Variety? Evidence from Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1009-1025.
    10. Evans, William N & Froeb, Luke M & Werden, Gregory J, 1993. "Endogeneity in the Concentration-Price Relationship: Causes, Consequences, and Cures," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 431-438, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ralph Siebert, 2016. "The Impact of Horizontal Mergers on Market Structure: Evidence from the Semiconductor Industry," CESifo Working Paper Series 5911, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea, 2012. "Horizontal market concentration: Theoretical insights from spatial models," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 22-32.
    3. Ewa, Lechman, 2010. "Concentration in ICTs sector – cross country analysis," MPRA Paper 37488, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Pennerstorfer, Dieter & Weiss, Christoph, 2013. "Spatial clustering and market power: Evidence from the retail gasoline market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 661-675.
    5. repec:kap:jincot:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10842-017-0251-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2004. "EU Merger Control in Differentiated Product Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1312, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. 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).
    8. Chrysovalantou Milliou & Joel Sandonis, 2018. "Manufacturer Mergers and Product Variety in Vertically Related Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-24, March.
    9. Nikolic, Adriana & Weiss, Christoph, 2014. "Spatial interactions in location decisions: Empirical evidence from a Bayesian spatial probit model," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 4245, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    10. Andrew Eckert & Heather Eckert, 2014. "Regional Patterns in Gasoline Station Rationalization in Canada," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 99-122, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    spatial product differentiation; retail gasoline; mergers; concentration;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L90 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - General

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