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Repositioning Dynamics and Pricing Strategy

Paul Ellickson, Sanjog Misra and Harikesh Nair

Research Papers from Stanford University, Graduate School of Business

Abstract: We measure the revenue and cost implications to supermarkets of changing their price positioning strategy in oligopolistic downstream retail markets. Our estimates have implications for long-run market structure in the supermarket industry, and for measuring the sources of price rigidity in the economy. We exploit a unique dataset containing the price-format decisions of all supermarkets in the U.S. The data contain the format-change decisions of supermarkets in response to a large shock to their local market positions: the entry of Wal-Mart. We exploit the responses of retailers to WalMart entry to infer the cost of changing pricing-formats using a .revealed-preference. argument similar to the spirit of Bresnahan and Reiss (1991). The interaction between retailers and Wal-Mart in each market is modeled as a dynamic game. We find evidence that suggests the entry patterns of WalMart had a significant impact on the costs and incidence of switching pricing strategy. Our results add to the marketing literature on the organization of retail markets, and to a new literature that discusses implications of marketing pricing decisions for macroeconomic studies of price rigidity. More generally, our approach which incorporates long-run dynamic consequences, strategic interaction, and sunk investment costs, outlines how the paradigm of dynamic games may be used to model empirically firms' positioning decisions in Marketing.

Date: 2011-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-hme, nep-ind and nep-mkt
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5)

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