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Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data

  • Peter E. Rossi

    ()

    (Graduate School of Business)

  • Judith A. Chevalier

    ()

    (School of Management)

  • Anil K. Kashyap

    ()

    (Graduate School of Business)

We examine retail and wholesale prices for a large supermarket chain over seven and one-half years. We find that prices fall on average during seasonal demand peaks for a product, largely due to changes in retail margins. Retail margins for specific goods fall during peak demand periods for that good, even if these periods do not coincide with aggregate demand peaks for the retailer. This is consistent with "loss leader" models of retailer competition. Models stressing cyclical demand elasticities or cyclical firm conduct are less consistent with our findings. Manufacturer behavior plays a limited role in the counter-cyclicality of prices.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm291.

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Date of creation: 10 Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm291
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/

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  11. Vrinda Kadiyali & Pradeep Chintagunta & Naufel Vilcassim, 2000. "Manufacturer-Retailer Channel Interactions and Implications for Channel Power: An Empirical Investigation of Pricing in a Local Market," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(2), pages 127-148, September.
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  13. Nelson, Philip & Siegfried, John J & Howell, John, 1992. "A Simultaneous Equations Model of Coffee Brand Pricing and Advertising," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 54-63, February.
  14. Kyle Bagwell, 1987. "Introductory Price as a Signal of Cost in a Model of Repeat Business," Discussion Papers 722, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Kenn Ariga & Kenji Matsui & Makoto Watanabe, 2001. "Hot and Spicy: Ups and Downs on the Price Floor and Ceiling at Japanese Supermarkets," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 316, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  16. Ghosal, Vivek, 2000. "Product market competition and the industry price-cost markup fluctuations:: role of energy price and monetary changes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 415-444, April.
  17. Lal, Rajiv & Matutes, Carmen, 1994. "Retail Pricing and Advertising Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(3), pages 345-70, July.
  18. Rajiv Lal & J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 1998. "Price Promotions and Trade Deals with Multiproduct Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 935-949, July.
  19. Duncan Simester, 1995. "Signalling Price Image Using Advertised Prices," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(2), pages 166-188.
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