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Advertising and the Evolution of Market Structure in the US Car Industry

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  • Geroski, Paul A
  • Mazzucato, Mariana

Abstract

This Paper focuses on a single simple stylized fact which stands out from the post-war history of the US Car industry, namely that industry concentration fell just at the same time as industry advertising expenditures rose sharply. Since both events were almost certainly caused by the entry and market penetration of (largely) foreign owned car producers, this stylized fact raises interesting questions about whether – and if so, how advertising affects entry. We use a model of consumer switching behaviour to help interpret the facts. The model predicts a simple linear association between market and advertising shares (which we observe fairly clearly at two different levels of aggregation in the data), and provides the basis for arguing that advertising can facilitate entry, but only for finite periods of time.

Suggested Citation

  • Geroski, Paul A & Mazzucato, Mariana, 2001. "Advertising and the Evolution of Market Structure in the US Car Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2860
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 1978. "A Model of Advertising and Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 485-503, June.
    2. Schmalensee, Richard, 1992. "Sunk Costs and Market Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 125-134, June.
    3. Geroski, P A & Murfin, A, 1991. "Entry and Intra-industry Mobility in the UK Car Market," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(4), pages 341-359, November.
    4. Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "Persuasion or Information? The Economics of Prescription Drug Advertising," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 45-74, April.
    5. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-754, July/Aug..
    6. Alemson, M A, 1970. "Advertising and the Nature of Competition in Oligopoly Over Time: A Case Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 282-306, June.
    7. Rizzo, John A & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1990. "Advertising and Entry: The Case of Physician Services," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 476-500, June.
    8. Caroline Elliott, 2001. "A Cointegration Analysis of Advertising and Sales Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 18(4), pages 417-426, June.
    9. Richard Schmalensee, 1976. "A Model of Promotional Competition in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 493-507.
    10. Cubbin, John S & Domberger, Simon, 1988. "Advertising and Post-entry Oligopoly Behaviour," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 123-140, December.
    11. Smiley, Robert, 1988. "Empirical evidence on strategic entry deterrence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 167-180.
    12. Dennis E. Smallwood & John Conlisk, 1979. "Product Quality in Markets Where Consumers are Imperfectly Informed," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(1), pages 1-23.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia, 2012. "Profitability, uncertainty and multi-product firm product proliferation: The Spanish car industry," Working Papers XREAP2012-16, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2012.
    2. Requena-Silvente, Francisco & Walker, James, 2007. "Investigating sales and advertising rivalry in the UK multipurpose vehicle market (1995-2002)," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 163-180.
    3. Suma Athreye & Sandeep Kapur, 2006. "Industrial concentration in a liberalising economy: A study of Indian manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 981-999.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Advertising; entry; US car industry;

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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