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Market Share and Price Setting Behavior For Private Labels and National Brands

  • Ronald W. Cotterill
  • William P. Putsis Jr.
  • Ravi Dhar

In this paper, we develop a framework for estimating market share and price reaction equations in an attempt to understand the nature of competitive interaction in the market for private label and branded grocery products. Specifically, we employ a 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. This enables us to consistently estimate shareprice relationships, accounting for demand-side and competitive reactions simultaneously. The incorporation of LA/AIDS demands into a structural equation framework represents an important departure from previous demand specifications in competitive analysis. In addition to its rigorous foundation in utility theory, LA/AIDS demands are especially flexible for demand-side estimation, provide consistent reaction functions on the supply side, and have particularly nice aggregation properties. In order to test the relative contribution of employing a flexible LA/AIDS functional form on the demand-side, and in a preliminary attempt to assess manufacturer-retailer interaction on the supply side, we compare our general framework (LA/AIDS demands with retailers following a proportional markup rule) to two alternative models of manufacturer-retailer interaction: Choi?s (1991) Manufacturer-Stackelberg (M-S) model under linear demands, as well as Shubik demands under Stackelberg conduct (Raju, Sethuraman and Dhar 1995a, 1995b). We first apply the proposed LA/AIDS framework to a sample pooled across 125 categories and 54 geographic markets in an attempt to produce result that generalize across the entire sample. We then estimate all three models using data on seven individual categories: bread, milk, pasta, yogurt, instant coffee, butter and margarine. We conclude that the LA/AIDS demand specification is preferred to the alternative linear demand specifications. Further, the empirical findings support our premise 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. Most importantly, our specification with LA/AIDS demands produced excellent overall fits, as well as reasonable demand and price response elasticities.

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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 051.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:051
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  1. Ronald W. Cotterill, 1996. "High Cereal Prices and the Prospects for Relief by Expansion of Private Label and Antitrust Enforcement," Issue Papers 11, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
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  7. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 037, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
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  16. Jagmohan S. Raju & Raj Sethuraman & Sanjay K. Dhar, 1995. "The Introduction and Performance of Store Brands," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(6), pages 957-978, June.
  17. Robert P. Leone, 1995. "Generalizing What Is Known About Temporal Aggregation and Advertising Carryover," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages G141-G150.
  18. Appelbaum, Elie, 1979. "Testing price taking behavior," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 283-294, February.
  19. Werden, G.J. & G.J. & Froeb, L.M., 1995. "Simulation as an Alternative to Structural Merger Policy in Differentiated Products Industries," Papers 95-02, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  20. Eunkyu Lee & Richard Staelin, 1997. "Vertical Strategic Interaction: Implications for Channel Pricing Strategy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(3), pages 185-207.
  21. Kiviet, Jan F., 1985. "Model selection test procedures in a single linear equation of a dynamic simultaneous system and their defects in small samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 327-362, June.
  22. Connor, John M. & Peterson, Everett B., 1991. "Market-Structure Determinants Of National Brand-Private Label Price Differences Of Manufactured Food Products," Working Papers 116099, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
  23. Roberts, Mark J., 1984. "Testing oligopolistic behavior," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 367-383, December.
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