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Food Retail Liberalization, Food Retail Structure and Food Prices: The Italian Case

Castellari Elena (), Paolo Sckokai () and Bonanno Alessandro ()
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Bonanno Alessandro: Colorado State University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, B327 Clark Building 1200 Center Ave MallFort Collins, CO, United States of America

Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, 2019, vol. 17, issue 2, 11

Abstract: In the last two decades the Italian food retail industry has changed considerably also thanks to the liberalization process started with the 1998 retail regulation reform. In this study, we investigate the impact of such reform on the food and beverage consumer price index, controlling for the endogenous nature of the policy adoption across regions, and addressing what changes in food retail structure may have driven those effects. We find that the policy had a mitigating effect on food prices, which can be explained by the change in the number and composition of food stores operating in the Italian market, rather than by the changes in store size and in-store services. We find the policy effects not to be statistically different across regions characterized by different levels of liberalization.

Keywords: retail structure; retail liberalization; food prices (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L81 L22 L52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:17:y:2019:i:2:p:11:n:3