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Regulation and UK Retailing Productivity: Evidence from Micro Data

  • Haskel, Jonathan
  • Sadun, Raffaella

We use UK micro data to explore whether planning regulation reduced UK retailing productivity growth between 1997 and 2003. We document a shift to smaller shops, particularly within supermarket chains, following a regulatory change in 1996 which increased the costs of opening large stores. This might have caused a slowdown in productivity growth if firms (a) lose scale advantages, by moving to smaller stores and (b) lose scope advantages if existing organisational knowledge appropriate to larger stores is not perfectly substitutable with the organisational capital required to run smaller stores. Our micro data shows a relation, controlling for fixed effects, between chain-level TFP for multi-store chains and various measures of the size of the stores within the chain. Our results suggest the fall in within-chain shop sizes was associated with a lowering of chain TFP by about 0.4% pa, about 40% of the post-1995 slowdown in UK retail TFP growth. The foregone productivity works out at about £80,000 per small chain supermarket store.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7140.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7140
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  1. Emek Basker & Shawn Klimek & Pham Hoang Van, 2008. "Supersize It: The Growth of Retail Chains and the Rise of the "Big Box" Retail Format," Working Papers 08-23r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Sep 2011.
  2. 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.
  3. Griffith, Rachel & Harmgart, Heike, 2008. "Supermarkets and Planning Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Raffaella Sadun, 2008. "Does Planning Regulation Protect Independent Retailers?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0888, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Victor Aguirregabiria & Pedro Mira & Hernan Roman, 2007. "An Estimate Dynamic Model of Entry, Exit, and Growth in Oligopoly Retail Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 449-454, May.
  6. Bond, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 65 Elsevier.
  7. Stephen Bond & Måns Söderbom, 2005. "Adjustment Costs and the Identification of Cobb Douglas Production Functions," Economics Papers 2005-W04, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521453455 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:dgr:rugggd:200576 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Rachel Griffith & Heike Harmgart, 2005. "Retail productivity," IFS Working Papers W05/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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