Richard Friberg, Frode Steen, Simen Ulsaker, 02 July 2019

Consumers often travel to neighbouring countries to shop at cheaper prices. This column uses sales data from a Norwegian grocery chain to examine how cross-border shopping into Sweden responds to changes in relative prices. It shows that the response to price changes is highest at some distance from the border, where consumers respond by reconsidering whether or not to travel abroad for their shopping.

Howard Smith, Øyvind Thomassen, 24 July 2017

Many consumers buy multiple types of goods from a single location (or firm) to save on shopping costs, turning these goods into pricing complements. Using data from the UK, this column shows that the internalisation of these complementary effects by supermarkets greatly improves the competitiveness of grocery supply. It also argues that one-stop shoppers have a greater pro-competitive impact on supermarket pricing than multi-stop shoppers.

Fabiano Schivardi, Eliana Viviano, 30 April 2011

Retail trade is regulated in all European economies. This column studies a 1998 Italian reform that delegated regulation to local authorities and therefore generated regional variation in barriers to entry. It shows that entry restrictions favour incumbent shops and reduce productivity and employment in the sector. Consumers pay for all this through higher prices.

Frank Verboven, Marnik Dekimpe, Kathleen Cleeren, Katrijn Gielens, 24 September 2008

Discounters, such as Lidl, operate to offer 40-60% lower prices than conventional retailers, but how much of a competetitive threat to they pose to supermarket giants? In addition to analysing "inter-format" competition between traditional supermarkets and discounters, Verboven et al. examine the competitive effect between retailers of a similar kind and the effects that local conditions can have upon the success the the two formats.

Rachel Griffith, Heike Harmgart, 03 April 2008

The UK retail sector’s performance has been disappointing compared to the United States, where significant productivity gains are attributed to greater dynamism. A number of analysts have blamed the UK’s woes on planning regulation and urged liberalisation. But the evidence presented in this column shows that the impact of planning regulation is overstated.


CEPR Policy Research