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Imperfect Competition in the Fresh Tomato Industry

  • Réquillart, Vincent
  • Simioni, Michel
  • Varela-Irimia, Xose-Luis

In this paper, we analyse the market power of the retail industry in the French tomato market. Following the methods developed in the New Empirical Industrial Organization, we develop a structural model of this industry. The analysis is based on detailed data on final consumption and prices at both shipper and consumer levels for two types of tomatoes in France. The structural model is composed of a system of demand equations, supply equations and pricing equations which include terms which capture the oligopoly and oligopsony power of the retail sector. We show that i) elasticity of demand varies during the year ii) the retail sector exercise only a ‘moderate’ market power iii) the exercise of market power decreases over time iv) If markets were competitive, in the case of tomato ‘ronde’ retail price would decrease by about 1.2% to 4.5% depending on the year; v) In absence of market power, shipping price might be 6% to 24% higher than observed. We find higher distortions in the case of tomato ‘grappe’. We also find that the distortions tend to decrease over time. We conclude to a moderate exercise of market power of the retail sector in the French tomato market.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 498.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision: 25 Feb 2009
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:8629
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  1. Howard Smith, 2004. "Supermarket Choice and Supermarket Competition in Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 235-263.
  2. 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.
  3. Alexandre Gohin & Hervé Guyomard, 2000. "Measuring Market Power for Food Retail Activities: French Evidence," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 181-195.
  4. Michel Simioni & Daniel Hassan, 2004. "Transmission des prix dans la filière des fruits et légumes: une application des tests de cointégration avec seuils," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 283(1), pages 27-46.
  5. Howard Smith, 2004. "Supermarket Choice and Supermarket Competition in Market�Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 235-263, 01.
  6. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
  7. Sexton, Richard J. & Lavoie, Nathalie, 2001. "Food processing and distribution: An industrial organization approach," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 863-932 Elsevier.
  8. Bettendorf, L & Verboven, F, 2000. "Incomplete Transmission of Coffee Bean Prices: Evidence from the Netherlands," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 1-16, March.
  9. Schroeter, John R. & Azzam, Azzeddine M., 1990. "Measuring Market Power in Multi-Product Oligopolies: The U.S. Meat Industry," Staff General Research Papers 11112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Schroeter, John R, 1988. "Estimating the Degree of Market Power in the Beef Packing Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 158-62, February.
  11. Reiss, Peter C. & Wolak, Frank A., 2007. "Structural Econometric Modeling: Rationales and Examples from Industrial Organization," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 64 Elsevier.
  12. Sexton Richard J. & Zhang Mingxia & Chalfant James A., 2005. "Grocery Retailer Behavior in Perishable Fresh Produce Procurement," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, February.
  13. Corts, Kenneth S., 1998. "Conduct parameters and the measurement of market power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 227-250, November.
  14. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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