IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Assessing the Competitive Interaction Between Private Labels and National Brands

  • Ronald W. Cotterill
  • William P. Putsis Jr.
  • Ravi Dhar
Registered author(s):

    In contrast to single-equation cross-sectional studies of private label share, developing a complete understanding of the nature of the competitive interaction between national brands and private labels requires an understanding of the determinants of both demand and strategic pricing decisions by firms. Consequently, we estimate a simultaneous system of share and price for private labels and national brands. From the empirical results, two measures of market response are derived. The unilateral demand elasticity measures the pure ?own? demand response, while the residual (or ?total?) elasticity also captures the impact of competitive price reaction (Baker and Bresnahan 1985). When taken together, these provide important strategic insights into the pricing interaction between national brands and private labels. In our empirical analysis, we employ a flexible, non-linear demand specification, the Linear Approximate Almost Ideal Demand System (LA/AIDS, Deaton and Muellbauer 1980a), and specify the price reaction equations derived under the LA/AIDS demand specification. Incorporating LA/AIDS demands into a structural equation framework represents an important departure from previous demand specifications in competitive analysis. Using the proposed LA/AIDS framework, we perform a detailed intra-category analysis using data on six individual categories: bread, milk, pasta, instant coffee, butter and margarine. In addition, in an attempt to generalize the results to a broader set of categories and in order to enable us to compare our results to previous cross-section studies, we also estimate using a sample pooled across 125 categories and 59 geographic markets. Consistent with our objectives, we find that consumer response to price and promotion decisions (demand) and the factors influencing firm pricing behavior (supply) jointly determine observed market prices and market shares. Further, estimates of residual demand elasticities suggest that examination of partial demand elasticities alone may provide an incomplete picture of the ability of brands to raise price. Managerial implications, limitations and suggestion for future research are discussed.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy in its series Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports with number 044.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:044
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1376 Storrs Road, U-21, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4021
    Phone: 860-486-2836
    Fax: 860-486-1932
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:044. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.