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Determinants of Economies of Scope in Retail

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This paper studies the determinants of economies of scope and quantifies their impact on the extensive and intensive product margins in retail. We use a framework based on a multiproduct technology to model stores’ incentives to expand product variety. Using novel Swedish data on product categories and stores, we find that high-productivity stores offer more product categories and sell more of all product categories. Stores with high demand shocks specialize in fewer product categories and sell more top-selling product categories. Policy simulations show that investments in technology increase the extensive and intensive product margins, especially benefitting stores in urban markets because of their productivity advantage. Learning from demand to increase productivity and variety is crucial in rural markets. Reducing the role of uncertainty in both productivity and demand shocks endorses product variety and raises sales and market share.

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  • Maican, Florin & Orth, Matilda, 2018. "Determinants of Economies of Scope in Retail," Working Paper Series 1247, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 11 Jul 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1247
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economies of scope; productivity; retail; product variety; technology; competition;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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