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Determinants of Economies of Scope in Retail

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    1. Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Product Differentiation, Multiproduct Firms, and Estimating the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1407-1451, September.
    2. Valerie Smeets & Frederic Warzynski & Amil Petrin & Emmanuel Dhyne, 2017. "Multi-Product Firms, Import Competition, and the Evolution of Firm-product Technical Efficiencies," 2017 Meeting Papers 242, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Steven Berry & Alon Eizenberg & Joel Waldfogel, 2016. "Optimal product variety in radio markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 463-497, August.
    4. Victor Aguirregabiria, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308.
    5. Serguey Braguinsky & Atsushi Ohyama & Tetsuji Okazaki & Chad Syverson, 2015. "Acquisitions, Productivity, and Profitability: Evidence from the Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(7), pages 2086-2119, July.
    6. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.),Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63, Elsevier.
    7. Daniel Ackerberg & Xiaohong Chen & Jinyong Hahn, 2012. "A Practical Asymptotic Variance Estimator for Two-Step Semiparametric Estimators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 481-498, May.
    8. Maican, Florin & Orth, Matilda, 2015. "A dynamic analysis of entry regulations and productivity in retail trade," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 67-80.
    9. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economies of scope; productivity; retail; product variety; technology; competition;

    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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