NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Xiliang Lin

JD.com

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Institutional Affiliation: JD.com

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2019Prices and Promotions in U.S. Retail Markets: Evidence from Big Data
with Günter J. Hitsch, Ali Hortaçsu: w26306
We document the degree of price dispersion and the similarities as well as differences in pricing and promotion strategies across stores in the U.S. retail (grocery) industry. Our analysis is based on “big data” that allow us to draw general conclusions based on the prices for close to 50,000 products (UPC’s) in 17,184 stores that belong to 81 different retail chains. Both at the national and local market level we find a substantial degree of price dispersion for UPC’s and brands at a given moment in time. We document that both persistent base price differences across stores and price promotions contribute to the overall price variance, and we provide a decomposition of the price variance into base price and promotion components. There is substantial heterogeneity in the degree of price di...
 
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