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Supermarkets competition in England and planning regulation

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We adapt the Bresnahan and Reiss (1991. Entry and competition in concentrated markets. The Journal of Political Economy 99, no. 5: 977–1009) model to allow for multiple store formats. We estimate the model using data for English supermarkets, and evaluate the impact of restrictive planning regulation on entry into the English grocery retail industry. We find that more restrictive planning regulation reduces the number of large format supermarkets in equilibrium. However, the impact is overstated if variation in demographic characteristics across markets is not also controlled for. Our estimates suggest that restrictive planning regulation leads to a loss to consumers of up to £10 m per annum. This cost must be offset against any benefits that arise, e.g. due to reduced congestion.

Keywords: land use regulation; retail entry

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Manchester, UK 2: EBRD and Institute for Fiscal Studies, London, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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