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Repositioning Dynamics and Pricing Strategy


  • Ellickson, Paul B.

    (University of Rochester)

  • Misra, Sanjog

    (University of Rochester)

  • Nair, Harikesh S.

    (Stanford University)


We measure the revenue and cost implications to supermarkets of changing their price positioning strategy in oligopolistic downstream retail markets. Our estimates have implications for long-run market structure in the supermarket industry, and for measuring the sources of price rigidity in the economy. We exploit a unique dataset containing the price-format decisions of all supermarkets in the U.S. The data contain the format-change decisions of supermarkets in response to a large shock to their local market positions: the entry of Wal-Mart. We exploit the responses of retailers to WalMart entry to infer the cost of changing pricing-formats using a .revealed-preference. argument similar to the spirit of Bresnahan and Reiss (1991). The interaction between retailers and Wal-Mart in each market is modeled as a dynamic game. We find evidence that suggests the entry patterns of WalMart had a significant impact on the costs and incidence of switching pricing strategy. Our results add to the marketing literature on the organization of retail markets, and to a new literature that discusses implications of marketing pricing decisions for macroeconomic studies of price rigidity. More generally, our approach which incorporates long-run dynamic consequences, strategic interaction, and sunk investment costs, outlines how the paradigm of dynamic games may be used to model empirically firms' positioning decisions in Marketing.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellickson, Paul B. & Misra, Sanjog & Nair, Harikesh S., 2011. "Repositioning Dynamics and Pricing Strategy," Research Papers 2075, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2075

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    Cited by:

    1. Victor Aguirregabiria & Junichi Suzuki, 2014. "Identification and counterfactuals in dynamic models of market entry and exit," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 267-304, September.
    2. Paul Ellickson & Sanjog Misra, 2012. "Enriching interactions: Incorporating outcome data into static discrete games," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, March.
    3. Sanjog Misra, 2013. "Markov chain Monte Carlo for incomplete information discrete games," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 117-153, March.
    4. Sanjog Misra & Harikesh Nair, 2011. "A structural model of salesforce compensation dynamics: Response to Profs. Rust and Staelin," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-273, September.

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