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

  • Marie-Laure Allain

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, 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 - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, 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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