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Prices and Market Structure: An Empirical Analysis of the Supermarket Industry in Chile

  • Loreto Lira
  • Magdalena Ugarte
  • Rodrigo Vergara.


    (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)

This paper investigates empirically the relationship between market structure and consumer prices in the supermarket industry in Chile. A panel of monthly data from 16 cities in the period January 1998–September 2006 was used. It was found that the more concentrated the industry is in a city, the higher the prices, while the participation of major national chains in cities tends to lower prices. Moreover, the dominant local chain was found to behave differently depending on whether or not one of the national chains was present in the city. Finally, we find that prices rise when a national chain acquires another chain and both were previously in a city (inmerge) while if only one of the two was present (outmerge), prices fall.

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Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 346.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:346
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  1. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Loreto Lira & Rosario Rivero & Rodrigo Vergara, 2007. "Entry and Prices: Evidence from the Supermarket Sector," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 237-260, December.
  3. John Fernald & Shanthi Ramnath, 2004. "The acceleration in U.S. total productivity after 1995: the role of information technology," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 52-67.
  4. Asplund, Marcus & Friberg, Richard, 2002. " Food Prices and Market Structure in Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 547-66, December.
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