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The role of retail market power and state regulations in the heterogeneity of farm‐retail price transmission of private label and branded products

Liu, Yizao, Chen, Xuan, Rabinowitz, Adam N.
Agricultural economics 2019 v.50 no.1 pp. 91-99
brand name products, fluid milk, market power, milk, models, prices, product labeling, retail marketing
Given the leading role of private label brands in the fluid milk market, it is of special interest to focus on possible differences in farm‐retail price transmission between private label and branded milk as well as the causes of heterogeneity. This article examines the heterogeneous effects of private label and branded products on price transmission in the fluid milk market using a panel threshold asymmetric error correction model. Results indicate that upward retail‐price adjustment is faster than the downward price adjustment for both private label and branded milk. The speed of adjustment of private label products is significantly faster than branded products in three different price regimes. We further investigate the reasons of heterogeneity in farm‐retail price transmission of private label milk. We find that both retailer market power and state pricing regulations contribute to the heterogeneity in asymmetric price transmission. Higher retailer market power causes retail prices of private label milk to rise faster and to fall slower. The existence of a state pricing regulation slows down the adjustment speed of retail prices of private labels back to the long‐run equilibrium, regardless of whether the retail price is low or high.