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Oligopoly Power in the Food Industries Revisited: A Stochastic Frontier Approach

Author

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  • Lopez, Rigoberto A.

    () (University of Connecticut)

  • Zheng, Hualu

    () (University of Connecticut)

  • Azzam, Azzeddine

    () (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Abstract

This study estimates mark-ups and oligopoly power for U.S. food industries using a stochastic frontier (SF; Kumbhakar, Baardsen and Lien, 2012; Baraigi and Azzam, 2014) approach, where mark-ups are treated as systematic deviations from a marginal cost pricing frontier. We apply the analysis to 36 U.S. food industries using NBER-CES Manufacturing Industry Database (2014), which covers a span of 31 years from 1979 to 2009. Empirical results show that all the food industries in the sample exercise at least some degree of oligopoly power, but most in a moderate manner. The estimated mean Lerner index is approximately 0.06, generally much lower than obtained using the conventional NEIO approaches. The SF model used provides a novel and promising framework to test and measure the degree of market power in agricultural and food markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Lopez, Rigoberto A. & Zheng, Hualu & Azzam, Azzeddine, 2015. "Oligopoly Power in the Food Industries Revisited: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Working Papers 39, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:zwi:wpaper:39
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sanjib Bhuyan & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 1997. "Oligopoly Power in the Food and Tobacco Industries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 1035-1043.
    2. Subal Kumbhakar & Sjur Baardsen & Gudbrand Lien, 2012. "A New Method for Estimating Market Power with an Application to Norwegian Sawmilling," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 40(2), pages 109-129, March.
    3. A. M. Azzam & E. Pagoulatos, 1990. "Testing Oligopolistic And Oligopsonistic Behaviour: An Application To The Us Meat‐Packing Industry," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 362-370, September.
    4. Rigoberto Lopez & Azzeddine Azzam & Carmen Lirón-España, 2002. "Market Power and/or Efficiency: A Structural Approach," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(2), pages 115-126, March.
    5. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
    6. Schroeter, John R, 1988. "Estimating the Degree of Market Power in the Beef Packing Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 158-162, February.
    7. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
    8. Metin Cakir & Joseph V. Balagtas, 2012. "Estimating Market Power of U.S. Dairy Cooperatives in the Fluid Milk Market," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(3), pages 647-658.
    9. Vardges Hovhannisyan & Brian W. Gould, 2012. "A Structural Model of the Analysis of Retail Market Power: The Case of Fluid Milk," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-79.
    10. Subir Bairagi & Azzeddine Azzam, 2014. "Does the Grameen Bank exert market power over borrowers?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(12), pages 866-869, August.
    11. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1982. "The oligopoly solution concept is identified," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 87-92.
    12. Ian Sheldon & Richard Sperling, 2003. "Estimating the Extent of Imperfect Competition in the Food Industry: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    oligopoly power; market power; food industries; stochastic frontier;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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