Hamburger Prices and Spatial Econometrics
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This paper applies spatial econometrics to hamburger price data to assess the degree of substitutability of products and locations of spatially dispersed franchised chains. First, while intrachain price variation exists, I find that hamburger prices at neighboring outlets of different chains are spatially uncorrelated. I conclude that their products are not close substitutes, which provides an explanation for why price promotions have not raised market share. I do find spatial price correlation, however, among proximate outlets of separate franchisees within the same chain. This finding implies that customers view proximate locations of a chain as substitutes.
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oligopoly; spatial economics; franchise competition; Thiessen polygon; commodity pricing
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Required Publisher Statement: © Wiley. Final version published as: Kalnins, A. (2003). Hamburger prices and spatial econometrics. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 12(4), 591-616. doi: 10.1111/j.1430-9134.2003.00591.x Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.