Price variability or rigidity in the food-retailing sector? Theoretical analysis and evidence from German scanner data
In many industrialized countries, the grocery-retailing sector exhibits a strong and increasing market concentration. Hence, it is important to understand retail pricing for many questions related to market power in the marketing chain and to agricultural and food policies. We analyze intertemporal pricing of grocery retailers in Germany with a large set of scanner data for processed foods. In theory, food prices could be rather variable, e.g. due to fluctuating commodity prices in a competitive world, or rather rigid, e.g. due to price adjustment costs. We elaborate that retail sales are crucial and raise food price variability at the points of sale. Despite this, prices are rather rigid and often do not change for many weeks. Moreover, pricing strategies for identical brands vary strongly across retailers. Retailers seem to have differential pricing strategies and, thus, market power. This casts substantial doubt on the assumption of a competitive price transmission in the marketing channel underlying most analyses in agricultural economics.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.uni-giessen.de/cms/faculties/research-centers/zeu-en/view|
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paolo Buccirossi & StÈphan Marette & Alessandra Schiavina, 2002. "Competition policy and the agribusiness sector in the European Union," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 373-397, July.
- Elizabeth Powers & Nicholas Powers, 2001. "The Size and Frequency of Price Changes: Evidence from Grocery Stores," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 18(4), pages 397-416, June.
- Cuddy, John D A & Della Valle, P A, 1978. "Measuring the Instability of Time Series Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 40(1), pages 79-85, February.
- Little, John D C & Shapiro, Jeremy F, 1980. "A Theory for Pricing Nonfeatured Products in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 199-209, July.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
- Daniel Hosken & David Reiffen, 2001. "Multiproduct retailers and the sale phenomenon," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 115-137.
- Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996.
"Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1175-1196, December.
- Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 1994. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multipro-duct Firms," NBER Working Papers 4759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-658, September.
- Dennis W. Carlton, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U. S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-824.
- Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
- Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
- Steve McCorriston, 2002. "Why should imperfect competition matter to agricultural economists?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 349-371, July.
- Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
- Margaret E. Slade & G.R.E.Q.A.M., 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)