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

Author

Listed:
  • Peter E. Rossi

    () (Graduate School of Business)

  • Judith A. Chevalier

    () (School of Management)

  • Anil K. Kashyap

    () (Graduate School of Business)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm291
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pricing; Seasonality; Retail; Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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