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Public Policy and Market Competition: How the Master Settlement Agreement Changed the Cigarette Industry

  • Ciliberto, Federico
  • Kuminoff, Nicolai

This paper investigates the large and unexpected increase in cigarette prices that followed the 1997 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). We integrate key features of rational addiction theory into a discrete-choice model of the demand for a differentiated product. We find that following the MSA firms set prices on a more elastic region of their demand curves. Using these estimates, we predict prices that would be charged under a variety of industry structures and pricing rules. Under the assumptions of firms’ perfect foresight and constant marginal costs, we fail to reject the hypothesis that firms collude on a dynamic pricing strategy.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24883/1/MPRA_paper_24883.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24883.

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Date of creation: 17 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24883
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  3. Showalter, Mark H., 1999. "Firm behavior in a market with addiction: the case of cigarettes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 409-427, August.
  4. Sullivan, Daniel, 1985. "Testing Hypotheses about Firm Behavior in the Cigarette Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 586-98, June.
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  6. Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 61, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 037, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  8. Peter Arcidiacono & Holger Sieg & Frank Sloan, 2001. "Living Rationally Under the Volcano? An Empirical Analysis of Heavy Drinking and Smoking," NBER Working Papers 8602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1998. "The Tobacco Deal," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Mark Coppejans & Donna Gilleskie & Holger Sieg & Koleman Strumpf, 2006. "Consumer Demand under Price Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from the Market for Cigarettes," NBER Working Papers 12156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis Of Dynamic, Non-Price Competition In An Oligopolistic Industry," Papers 3-88-14, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Kellie Curry Raper & H. Alan Love & C. Richard Shumway, 2007. "Distinguishing the Source of Market Power," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-90.
  13. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
  14. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber & Raymond S. Hartman & Mary Beth Landrum & Joseph P. Newhouse & Meredith B. Rosenthal, 2002. "The Economic impacts of the tobacco settlement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 1-19.
  15. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2000. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," NBER Working Papers 7981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-42, August.
  17. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Marc Rysman, 2007. "Dynamics of Consumer Demand for New Durable Goods," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-024, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  18. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  19. Gale, H. Frederick, Jr. & Foreman, Linda F. & Capehart, Thomas C., Jr., 2000. "Tobacco And The Economy: Farms, Jobs, And Communities," Agricultural Economics Reports 34007, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  20. Ashenfelter, Orley & Sullivan, Daniel, 1987. "Nonparametric Tests of Market Structure: An Application to the Cigarette Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 483-98, June.
  21. Barzel, Yoram, 1976. "An Alternative Approach to the Analysis of Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1177-97, December.
  22. Sobel, Russell S & Garrett, Thomas A, 1997. "Taxation and Product Quality: New Evidence from Generic Cigarettes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 880-87, August.
  23. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
  24. Hanemann, W Michael, 1984. "Discrete-Continuous Models of Consumer Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 541-61, May.
  25. Sumner, Daniel A, 1981. "Measurement of Monopoly Behavior: An Application to the Cigarette Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 1010-19, October.
  26. William N. Evans & Matthew C. Farrelly, 1998. "The Compensating Behavior of Smokers: Taxes, Tar, and Nicotine," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 578-595, Autumn.
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