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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: https://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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  1. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Adda, Jérôme & Cornaglia, Francesca, 2005. "Taxes, Cigarette Consumption and Smoking Intensity," IZA Discussion Papers 1849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-42, March.
  10. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  11. 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.
  12. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1998. "The Tobacco Deal," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber & Raymond S. Hartman & M.B. Landrum, J. Newhouse & Meredith B. Rosenthal, 2000. "The Economic Impacts of the Tobacco Settlement," NBER Working Papers 7760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Dynamic, Nonprice Competition in an Oligopolistic Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 200-220, Summer.
  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. Igal Hendel, 1999. "Estimating Multiple-Discrete Choice Models: An Application to Computerization Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 423-446.
  18. Hanemann, W Michael, 1984. "Discrete-Continuous Models of Consumer Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 541-61, May.
  19. 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.
  20. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
  21. Peter Arcidiacono & Holger Sieg & Frank Sloan, 2007. "Living Rationally Under The Volcano? An Empirical Analysis Of Heavy Drinking And Smoking," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 37-65, 02.
  22. Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," NBER Working Papers 3322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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