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Competition in large markets


  • Jeffrey R. Campbell


This paper develops a simple and robust implication of free entry followed by competition without substantial strategic interactions: Increasing the number of consumers leaves the distributions of producers' prices and other choices unchanged. In many models featuring non-trivial strategic considerations, producers' prices fall as their numbers increase. Hence, examining the relationship between market size and producers' actions provides a nonparametric tool for empirically discriminating between these distinct approaches to competition. To illustrate its application, I examine observations of restaurants' seating capacities, exit decisions, and prices from 224 U.S. cities. Given factor prices and demographic variables, increasing a city's size increases restaurants' capacities, decreases their exit rate, and decreases their prices. These results suggest that strategic considerations lie at the heart of restaurant pricing and turnover.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey R. Campbell, 2005. "Competition in large markets," Working Paper Series WP-05-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-05-16

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. Jaap H. Abbring & Jeffrey R. Campbell, 2004. "Creative destruction in local markets," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 50-60.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, July.
    4. Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511.
    5. Jeffrey Campbell, 1998. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 371-408, April.
    6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    7. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
    8. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
    9. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2005. "Market Size Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-25, March.
    10. Oliver D. Hart, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: A General Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 529-546.
    11. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1990. "Entry in Monopoly Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 531-553.
    12. Raymond Deneckere & Michael Rothschild, 1992. "Monopolistic Competition and Preference Diversity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 361-373.
    13. 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.
    14. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Product Quality and Market Size," NBER Working Papers 9675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Powell, James L & Stock, James H & Stoker, Thomas M, 1989. "Semiparametric Estimation of Index Coefficients," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1403-1430, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clarissa Yeap, 2006. "The Production Decisions of Large Competitors: Detecting Cost Advantages and Strategic Behavior in Restaurants," Working Papers 06-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Brekke, Kurt R. & Garcia Pires, Armando J. & Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2017. "Capital taxation and imperfect competition: ACE vs. CBIT," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 1-15.
    3. Jaap H. Abbring & Jeffrey R. Campbell, 2006. "Oligopoly dynamics with barriers to entry," Working Paper Series WP-06-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

    More about this item


    Restaurant management ; Markets;

    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

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