UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Richard Volpe, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Market Structure and Food Price Inflation

Date and Location

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
ARE Conference Room, 2102 Social Sciences and Humanities


We merge BLS food price inflation data for 27 U.S. cities with data on food retailers from Nielsen TDLinx for the years 2004-2012. Develop a number of measures of food retail market structure based on annual revenues, and test a number of hypotheses related to market structure and prices. In agreement with a lengthy literature, we find a positive and significant relationship between increases in market structure and food price inflation. However we find that concentration in retail formats is also important in understanding the market-structure determinants of food prices, which has important implications for the increasingly diversifying food retail landscape in the U.S. today.

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