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Does Planning Regulation Protect Independent Retailers?

  • Raffaella Sadun

Regulations aimed at curbing the entry of large retail stores have been introduced in many countries to protect independent retailers. Analyzing a planning reform launched in the United Kingdom in the 1990s, I show that independent retailers were actually harmed by the creation of entry barriers against large stores. Instead of simply reducing the number of new large stores entering a market, the entry barriers created the incentive for large retail chains to invest in smaller and more centrally located formats, which competed more directly with independents and accelerated their decline. Overall, these findings suggest that restricting the entry of large stores does not necessarily lead to a world with fewer stores, but one with different stores, with uncertain competitive effects on independent retailers.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19797.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Publication status: published as Raffaella Sadun, 2015. "Does Planning Regulation Protect Independent Retailers?," Review of Economics and Statistics, vol 97(5), pages 983-1001.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19797
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