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Supplier Responses to Wal-Mart's Invasion of Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Leonardo Iacovone
  • Beata Smarzynska Javorcik
  • Wolfgang Keller
  • James R. Tybout

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of Wal-Mart's entry into Mexico on Mexican manufacturers of consumer goods. Guided by firm interviews that suggested substantial heterogeneity across firms in how they responded to Wal-Mart's entry, we develop a dynamic industry model in which firms decide whether to sell their products through Walmex (short for Wal-Mart de Mexico), or use traditional retailers. Walmex provides access to a larger market, but it puts continuous pressure on its suppliers to improve their product's appeal, and it forces them to accept relatively low prices relative to product appeal. Simulations of the model show that the arrival of Walmex separates potential suppliers into two groups. Those with relatively high-appeal products choose Walmex as their retailer, whereas those with lower appeal products do not. For the industry as a whole, the model predicts that the associated market share reallocations, adjustments in innovative effort, and exit patterns increase productivity and the rate of innovation. These predictions accord well with the results from our firm interviews. The model's predictions are also supported by establishment-level panel data that characterize Mexican producers' domestic sales, investments, and productivity gains in regions with differing levels of Walmex presence during the years 1994 to 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Iacovone & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Wolfgang Keller & James R. Tybout, 2011. "Supplier Responses to Wal-Mart's Invasion of Mexico," NBER Working Papers 17204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17204
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Cheptea & Charlotte Emlinger & Karine Latouche, 2012. "Multinational Retailers and Home Country Exports," Post-Print hal-01208840, HAL.
    2. Angela Cheptea, 2014. "Do multinational retailers affect the export competitveness of host countries?," IAW Discussion Papers 106, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    3. Blanchard, Emily & Chesnokova, Tatyana & Willmann, Gerald, 2013. "Private labels and international trade: Trading variety for volume," Kiel Working Papers 1829, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Blyde, Juan & Santamaria, Julieth, 2013. "Sharpen your skills: the impact of training employees on backward linkages," MPRA Paper 53367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Piermartini, Roberta & Rubínová, Stela, 2014. "Knowledge spillovers through international supply chains," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-11, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    6. Javorcik, Beata S. & Li, Yue, 2013. "Do the biggest aisles serve a brighter future? Global retail chains and their implications for Romania," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 348-363.
    7. Cho, Janghee & Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Yoonsoo, 2015. "How does the entry of large discount stores increase retail employment? Evidence from Korea," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 559-574.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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