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The Impact of Retail Mergers on Food Prices: Evidence from France

  • Marie-Laure Allain

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)

  • Claire Chambolle

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS, INRA - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA))

  • Stéphane Turolla

    (INRA - UMR 1302)

  • Sofia Villas-Boas

    (UC Berkeley - University of California - University of California, Berkeley)

This paper analyzes the impact of a merger in the French retail sector on food prices, using a consumer panel data. We perform a di fference-in-diff erences analysis by comparing price changes in stores for which the local market structure is aff ected by the merger to unaff ected stores. In addition, we empirically investigate economic forces behind the observed price changes. On average, we fi nd that the merger signifi cantly raised competitors' prices contemporaneously with merging firms' price increases. Further, we show that competitor prices increase more in local markets that experience larger structural changes in concentration and chain diff erentiation.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00920460.

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Date of creation: 18 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00920460
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  1. Christos Genakos & Tommaso Valletti, 2007. "Testing the 'Waterbed' Effect in Mobile Telephony," CEP Discussion Papers dp0827, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Marie-Laure Allain & Claire Chambolle, 2007. "Anti-Competitive Effects of Resale-Below-Cost Laws," Working Papers 2007-29, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Wioletta Dziuda & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2009. "The Euro Changeover and Its Effects on Price Transparency and Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 101-129, 02.
  4. Matthew C. Weinberg, 2011. "More Evidence on the Performance of Merger Simulations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 51-55, May.
  5. Philippe Choné & Laurent Linnemer, 2010. "A Treatment Effect Method for Merger Analysis with an Application to Parking Prices in Paris," CESifo Working Paper Series 3268, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Duso, Tomaso & Argentesi, Elena & Aguzzoni, Luca & Ciari, Lorenzo & Tognoni, Massimo, 2013. "Ex-post Merger Evaluation in the UK Retail Market for Books," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80025, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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  8. Aviv Nevo & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Taking the Dogma out of Econometrics: Structural Modeling and Credible Inference," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 69-82, Spring.
  9. Guido Imbens, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1166, Econometric Society.
  10. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The credibility revolution in empirical economics: how better research design is taking the con out of econometrics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48898, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Allain, Marie-Laure & Chambolle, Claire & Vergé, Thibaud, 2008. "La Loi Galland sur les relations commerciales : jusqu'où les réformer ?," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 13, May.
  13. Emek Basker & Michael Noel, 2009. "The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry into the Supermarket Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 977-1009, December.
  14. Justine S. Hastings, 2004. "Vertical Relationships and Competition in Retail Gasoline Markets: Empirical Evidence from Contract Changes in Southern California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 317-328, March.
  15. Barros, Pedro Pita & Brito, Duarte & de Lucena, Diogo, 2006. "Mergers in the food retailing sector: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 447-468, February.
  16. Pierre Biscourp & Xavier Boutin & Thibaud Vergé, 2013. "The Effects of Retail Regulations on Prices: Evidence from the Loi Galland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1279-1312, December.
  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:249-275 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Paul W. Dobson & Michael Waterson, 2005. "Chain-Store Pricing Across Local Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 93-119, 03.
  19. Dario Focarelli & Fabio Panetta, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Market for Bank Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1152-1172, September.
  20. Davis David E., 2010. "Prices, Promotions, and Supermarket Mergers," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-27, November.
  21. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2005. "Consumer Benefits from Increased Competition in Shopping Outlets: Measuring the Effect of Wal-Mart," NBER Working Papers 11809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  23. Roman Inderst & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2008. "Buyer Power and the “Waterbed Effect”," CEIS Research Paper 107, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 10 Jul 2008.
  24. Orley Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken, 2010. "The Effect of Mergers on Consumer Prices: Evidence from Five Mergers on the Enforcement Margin," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 417 - 466.
  25. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:4:p:1369-1413 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Stéphane Turolla, 2012. "Spatial competition in the French supermarket industry," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 12-01, INRA UMR SMART.
  27. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  28. Jean-Francois Houde, 2012. "Spatial Differentiation and Vertical Mergers in Retail Markets for Gasoline," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2147-82, August.
  29. Howard Smith, 2004. "Supermarket Choice and Supermarket Competition in Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 235-263.
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