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The Determinants of Consumer Price Dispersion: Evidence from French Supermarkets

Abstract : In this chapter, we characterize the dispersion of grocery prices in France based on a large original data set of prices in more than 1500 supermarkets across the country. On average across products, the 90 th percentile of relative prices is 17 percentage points higher than the 10 th . The mean absolute deviation from quarterly average product prices is 5% on average in the French retail sector, and the standard deviation of relative prices is 7%.We show that temporary sales and promotions offer a limited explanation of the observed price dispersion, while the permanent component of price dispersion largely dominates. We find that in France price dispersion across stores essentially results from persistent heterogeneity in retail chains’ national pricing. Indeed, consumer prices are largely determined at a national level by retail groups’ bargaining power with producers and by retail chains’ positioning. We also show, however, that local conditions regarding demand and local competition between supermarkets do explain prices observed in local markets, though to a much lower extent.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 12:36:50 PM
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Nicoletta Berardi, Patrick Sevestre, Jonathan Thébault. The Determinants of Consumer Price Dispersion: Evidence from French Supermarkets. The Econometrics of Multi-dimensional Panels, Springer, Cham, pp.427-449, 2017, Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Applied Econometrics, 978-3-319-60782-5 978-3-319-60783-2. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-60783-2_15⟩. ⟨hal-01685367⟩



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