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Superstores or mom and pops? Technolgy adoption and productivity differences in retail trade

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  • David Lagakos

Abstract

I document that cross-country productivity differences in retail trade, which employs around 20% of workers, are accounted for in large part by compositional differences. In richer countries, most retailing is done in modern stores, with high measured output per worker, whereas in developing countries, retail trade is dominated by less-productive traditional stores. I hypothesize that developing countries rationally adopt few modern stores since car ownership rates are low. A simple quantitative model of home production supports the role of cars in determining the composition of retail technologies used and retail-sector productivity differences across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • David Lagakos, 2009. "Superstores or mom and pops? Technolgy adoption and productivity differences in retail trade," Staff Report 428, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:428
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    Cited by:

    1. Tasso Adamopoulos & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "The Size Distribution of Farms and International Productivity Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1667-1697, June.
    2. Klaus Desmet & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2014. "Spatial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1211-1243, April.
    3. DE BORGER, Bruno & RUSSO, Antonio, 2015. "Lobbying and the political economy of pricing car access to downtown commercial districts," Working Papers 2015012, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. Gaaitzen J. Vries, 2014. "Productivity in a Distorted Market: The Case of Brazil's Retail Sector," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(3), pages 499-524, September.
    5. Michael E. Waugh, 2010. "International Trade and Income Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2093-2124, December.
    6. Emek Basker, 2015. "Change at the Checkout: Tracing the Impact of a Process Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 339-370, June.
    7. Zipitría, Leandro, 2011. "Impacto económico del Supermercadismo
      [The Economics of Supermarkets: A Brief Literature Review]
      ," MPRA Paper 28419, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Igan, Deniz & Suzuki, Junichi, 2012. "The “Wal-Mart effect” in central and eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 194-210.

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    Keywords

    Retail trade ; Technology ; Productivity;

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