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Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry

Aviv Nevo

No 25164, Research Reports from University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center

Abstract: The ready-to-eat cereal industry is characterized by high concentration, high price-cost margins, large advertising to sales ratios, and numerous introductions of new products. Previous researchers have concluded that the ready-to-eat cereal industry is a classic example of an industry with nearly collusive pricing behavior and intense non-price competition. This paper empirically examines this conclusion. In particular, I estimate price-cost margins, but more importantly I am able empirically to separate these margins into three parts: (1) that which is due to product differentiation; (2) that which is due to multi-product firm pricing; and (3) that due to potential price collusion. The results suggest that given the demand for different brands of cereal, the first two effects explain most of the observed price-cost markups. I conclude that prices in the industry are consistent with non-collusive pricing behavior, despite the high price-cost margins. Leading firms are able to maintain a portfolio of differentiated products, and influence the perceived quality of these products, and it is these two factors that lead to high price-cost margins.

Keywords: Agribusiness; Demand and Price Analysis; Industrial Organization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38
Date: 1998
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https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/25164/files/rr980037.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry (2003) Downloads
Journal Article: Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry (2001)
Working Paper: Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry (1999) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry (1998) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry (1998) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:uconnr:25164

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.25164

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