NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Organizational Form Drive Competition? Evidence from Coffee Retailing

Brian Adams, Joshua Gans, Richard Hayes, Ryan Lampe

NBER Working Paper No. 22548
Issued in August 2016
NBER Program(s):Industrial Organization, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This article examines patterns of entry and exit in a relatively homogeneous product market to investigate the impact of entry on incumbent firms and market structure. In particular, we are interested in whether the organizational form of entrants matters for the competitive decisions of incumbents. We assess the impact of chain stores on independent retailers in the Melbourne coffee market using annual data on the location and entry status of 4,768 coffee retailers between 1991 and 2010. The long panel enables us to include market fixed effects to address the endogeneity of store locations. Logit regressions indicate that chain stores have no discernible effect on the exit or entry decisions of independent stores. However, each additional chain store increases the probability of another chain store exiting by 2.5 percentage points, and each additional independent cafe increases the probability of another independent cafe exiting by 0.5 percent. These findings imply that neighboring independents and chains operate almost as though they are in separate markets. We offer additional analysis suggesting consumer information as a cause of this differentiation.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22548

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