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What determines U.S. retail margins?

Author: Gautschi, David A. ; Betancourt, RogerINSEAD Area: Marketing Series: Working Paper ; 90/31/MKT/EPS Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1990.Language: EnglishDescription: 33 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: In this paper an economic framework for the empirical analysis of retail margins is developed. This framework departs from the definition of profits and incorporates recent theoretical developments formalizing the role of distribution services in retail activities. Alternative approaches, based on a mark-up model and on a hedonic equation, are also considered. The data base is information on 49 retail sectors from the 1982 US Census of Retail Trades. The results reject the hedonic approach and part of the previous specification of the mark-up model. They provide some support for the hypothesis of monopolistic competition as the relevant market structure in the retail sector and substantial evidence for the hypothesis that distribution services are the main determinants of retail margins
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In this paper an economic framework for the empirical analysis of retail margins is developed. This framework departs from the definition of profits and incorporates recent theoretical developments formalizing the role of distribution services in retail activities. Alternative approaches, based on a mark-up model and on a hedonic equation, are also considered. The data base is information on 49 retail sectors from the 1982 US Census of Retail Trades. The results reject the hedonic approach and part of the previous specification of the mark-up model. They provide some support for the hypothesis of monopolistic competition as the relevant market structure in the retail sector and substantial evidence for the hypothesis that distribution services are the main determinants of retail margins

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