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Retail Oligopoly Power, Dairy Compact, And Boston Milk Prices

  • Chidmi, Benaissa
  • Lopez, Rigoberto A.
  • Cotterill, Ronald W.

This paper assesses the impacts of the Northeast Dairy Compact (NEDC) and retail oligopoly power on fluid milk prices in Boston. Empirical results reveal that price increases due to oligopoly power outweighed those caused by the NEDC by nearly seven times. In fact, markups are estimated at approximately 25% of the retail milk price, translating into approximately a little less than $0.75/gallon. We also estimated that only around two-thirds of the raw milk price changes were passed forward to consumers. This helps explain why consumer prices have come down only little after elimination of the NEDC. In fact, the new milk income loss contract program, which basically provides partial price subsidies to farmers, has contributed to low raw milk prices that have generated substantial benefits to milk processors and retailers, modest benefits to farmers and consumers, all at the expense of taxpayers.

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File URL: http://fmpc.uconn.edu/publications/rr/rr83.pdf
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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 083.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:083
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  1. Bonanno, Alessandro & Lopez, Rigoberto A., 2004. "Private Labels, Retail Configuration, and Fluid Milk Prices," Research Reports 25222, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  2. Severin Borenstein & Stephen P. Holland, 2003. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets With Time-Invariant Retail Prices," NBER Working Papers 9922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sexton, Richard J. & Lavoie, Nathalie, 2001. "Food processing and distribution: An industrial organization approach," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 863-932 Elsevier.
  4. Joseph V. Balagtas & Daniel A. Sumner, 2003. "The Effect of the Northeast Dairy Compact on Producers and Consumers, with Implications of Compact Contagion," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 123-144.
  5. Johnson, Stanley R. & Stonehouse, D. Peter & Hassan, Zuhair A., 1992. "Market Demand for Dairy Products," Staff General Research Papers 575, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Hoy F. Carman & Richard J. Sexton, 2005. "Supermarket fluid milk pricing practices in the western United States," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 509-530.
  7. Junko Kinoshita & Nobuhiro Suzuki & Tamotsu Kawamura & Yasuhito Watanabe & Harry M. Kaiser, 2001. "Estimating own and cross brand price elasticities, and price-cost margin ratios using store-level daily scanner data," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 515-525.
  8. Narasimhan, Chakravarthi & Wilcox, Ronald T, 1998. "Private Labels and the Channel Relationship: A Cross-Category Analysis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(4), pages 573-600, October.
  9. Cotterill, Ronald W. & Dhar, Tirtha Pratim, 2003. "Oligopoly Pricing with Differentiated Products: The Boston Fluid Milk Market Channel," Research Reports 25189, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  10. MacKinnon, James G. & White, Halbert & Davidson, Russell, 1983. "Tests for model specification in the presence of alternative hypotheses : Some further results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 53-70, January.
  11. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
  12. Rigoberto Lopez & Azzeddine Azzam & Carmen Lirón-España, 2002. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: A Structural Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 115-126, March.
  13. Liu, Donald J. & Sun, Chin-Hwa & Kaiser, Harry M., 1995. "Market Conduct Under Government Price Intervention In The U.S. Dairy Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 20(02), December.
  14. Huang, Kuo S., 1985. "U.S. Demand for Food: A Complete System of Price and Income Effects," Technical Bulletins 157014, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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