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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Jiawu Dai and Xiuqing Wang

Complaints about lower agricultural farm-gate price and higher consumer price have emerged in China in recent years. The large gap between dairy farm-gate price and…

Abstract

Purpose

Complaints about lower agricultural farm-gate price and higher consumer price have emerged in China in recent years. The large gap between dairy farm-gate price and consumer price gives rise to worries that China's dairy industry is characterized by strong degree of oligopoly. The purpose of this paper is to take the dairy processing industry as an epitome of China's food industry, and use a new approach to investigate whether it is oligopolistic and/or oligopsonistic.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a new proposed Primal-Dual Solow Residual model, the authors first test the hypothesis that there are significant oligopoly and oligopsony powers in China's dairy sector, and the latter is stronger. The authors then turn to measure these two kinds of market power using regressions of the model.

Findings

The estimation results show that firms in the sector have both strong oligopoly and oligopsony power, but the latter is stronger than the former. Meanwhile, with the continuous reinforcement of competition in China's dairy sector, market power in both the upstream and downstream has decreased slightly.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to simultaneously test oligopoly and oligopsony power in China's dairy sector. The empirical results explicitly imply that more attention should be paid to the raw milk purchase market.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Ling Ma, Alexander Nuetah and Xiuqing Wang

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of market power and returns to scale in the determination of farm-value share.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of market power and returns to scale in the determination of farm-value share.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilizes the equilibrium displacement model to investigate the role of market power and returns to scale in the determination of farm-value share. Contrary to the current literature, the paper incorporates oligopoly power, oligopsony power and non-constant return to scale into one generalized model, which systematically enables us investigate the impacts of market power on the determination and changes of farm-value share.

Findings

The results imply that market power as well as non-constant returns to scale is central to the understanding of farm-value share. These, in turn, indicate that ignoring the impacts of market power and degree of return to scale may overestimate or underestimate the impacts of exogenous shocks on changes in farm-value share.

Originality/value

Thus, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no literature has examined the co-existence of oligopsony power, oligopoly power as well as non-constant return to scale in farm-value share determination. This paper therefore tries to fill this gap.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2019

Jiawu Dai and Xun Li

The purpose of this paper is to estimate oligopsony power in the upstream factor market and oligopoly power in the downstream product market. On this basis, the paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to estimate oligopsony power in the upstream factor market and oligopoly power in the downstream product market. On this basis, the paper intends to examine the effects of both oligopsony and oligopoly power as well as ownership on technical efficiency which were rarely discussed in previous studies.

Design/methodology/approach

First, based on the stochastic frontier production function, the paper constructs a new model that is capable to estimate oligopsony power for each observation. Second, the paper employs the popular dual stochastic frontier cost function to estimate marginal cost as well as oligopoly power. Then, the system GMM method with different sets of instrumental variables is applied to test the effects of the two-sided market power and ownership on technical efficiency.

Findings

Using unbalanced panel data at the firm level, the paper demonstrates that oligopsony power is significantly variant across different sectors. The most notable point is that oligopsony power in China’s soya and peanut oil industries is negative, while that in pork and beef industries is much stronger than those in other industries. In addition, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are found to be less technically efficient in most of the selected industries, while SOEs with higher oligopsony power tend to be more technically efficient than non-state-owned enterprises(NSOEs), which is consistent with the quiet life hypothesis.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light mainly on three aspects. First, it proposes a new model to estimate oligopsony power for each single firm. Second, it tests the effect of oligopsony power on technical efficiency. Third, it distinguishes the differential effect of oligopsony power on technical efficiency between SOEs and NSOEs.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2019

Hao Lan and Xiaojin Wang

The purpose of this paper is to investigate market power in the Chinese pork supply chain. The authors aim to explain why a steady rise in prices is observed in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate market power in the Chinese pork supply chain. The authors aim to explain why a steady rise in prices is observed in the sector, apart from existing evidence on incomplete/asymmetric cost pass-through and concerns of growing concentration and consolidation in the sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a new empirical industrial organization model for both oligopoly and oligopsony power to measure the degree of market power exerted on consumers and hog farmers simultaneously.

Findings

By examining annual panel data across provinces in China, the authors find that both oligopoly and oligopsony powers exist in the pork supply chain. In particular, the authors determine that a higher degree of market power is found to influence prices paid to hog farmers than prices paid by pork consumers. Estimates of key elasticities in the Chinese pork supply chain are also updated based on the structural model estimation and the latest data.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the lack of data at a more granular level of geography, the authors are only able to estimate market power by three major economic regions.

Practical implications

The findings provide useful information for future policy analyses of Chinese food markets. First, the pork-packing industry should be of great concern in terms of market power and its influence on consumers’ and farmers’ welfare. It is essential to take into consideration market power in the pork supply chain before making any public policy regarding the pork market. Furthermore, following economic theory and experience from developed countries, large meat packers will eventually vertically control hog farmers given their stronger oligopsony power over the upstream. Vertical integration may be the next important issue in terms of food market competition. Finally, the results may also draw the government’s attention to investigating market competition in all major food markets.

Originality/value

The empirical evidence draws attention to the issue of food market competition in one of the largest and most important meat-packing markets in China. The authors hope to encourage further discussions on pork and hog market regulations and related public policies.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Abstract

Details

Internet Oligopoly
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-197-1

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Habtu T. Weldegebriel, Xiuqing Wang and Anthony J. Rayner

The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical model of price transmission from the farm to the retail sector, allowing not only for an interaction between oligopoly

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical model of price transmission from the farm to the retail sector, allowing not only for an interaction between oligopoly power, oligopsony power and non‐constant returns to scale in industry technology, but also allowing for the market power conduct parameters to vary in response to an industry‐wide exogenous shock. Also, the degree of price transmission under imperfect competition relative to that under perfect competition is evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

Conjectural variations are used to parameterize both seller and buyer market power conduct of the industry and then the equilibrium displacement approach is applied to solve a system of six structural equations which describe the demand for and supply of industry retail output and farm and marketing inputs.

Findings

First, it is found that given empirical values of retail output demand elasticity, of farm and marketing inputs supply elasticities, of market power conducts, and of the returns to scale measure, the degree of price transmission under imperfect competition is greater than that under perfect competition. Second, it is found that the relative degree of price transmission under imperfect competition could be greater or smaller under the assumption of a varying market power conduct than one under the alternative assumption of a constant market power conduct, depending on whether market conduct is falling or rising, respectively.

Originality/value

The paper makes two original contributions to the literature. First, it allows for an interaction between oligopoly power, oligopsony power and industry technology. Second, it allows both oligopoly and oligopsony power parameters to vary in response to industry‐wide exogenous shocks.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

Abstract

Many jurisdictions fine illegal cartels using penalty guidelines that presume an arbitrary 10% overcharge. This article surveys more than 700 published economic studies and judicial decisions that contain 2,041 quantitative estimates of overcharges of hard-core cartels. The primary findings are: (1) the median average long-run overcharge for all types of cartels over all time periods is 23.0%; (2) the mean average is at least 49%; (3) overcharges reached their zenith in 1891–1945 and have trended downward ever since; (4) 6% of the cartel episodes are zero; (5) median overcharges of international-membership cartels are 38% higher than those of domestic cartels; (6) convicted cartels are on average 19% more effective at raising prices as unpunished cartels; (7) bid-rigging conduct displays 25% lower markups than price-fixing cartels; (8) contemporary cartels targeted by class actions have higher overcharges; and (9) when cartels operate at peak effectiveness, price changes are 60–80% higher than the whole episode. Historical penalty guidelines aimed at optimally deterring cartels are likely to be too low.

Details

The Law and Economics of Class Actions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-951-5

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Abstract

Details

Agricultural Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44482-481-3

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Abstract

Details

Agricultural Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44482-481-3

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Ahmet Özçam

The purpose of this paper is to provide an alternative way of calculating the deadweight loss triangle in oligopolistic markets which takes inefficient use of inputs into…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an alternative way of calculating the deadweight loss triangle in oligopolistic markets which takes inefficient use of inputs into account. The author shows that the result of the approach coincides with the one that exists in the economics literature. However, the author explicitly accounts for the inefficient use of inputs.

Design/methodology/approach

The market supply curve that is extensively used for competitive markets has been reconsidered for the imperfectly competitive markets. The necessary condition for the efficient use of resources is investigated and a price level is derived at which the market output of oligopoly is produced efficiently. The degree of inefficient use of inputs is reported via the definitions of Input Inefficiency Measure (IIM) and the Ratio of Inefficient usage of Inputs to Total Deadweight Loss (RITD).

Findings

The author discovers that the area under the supply curve of the competitive market corresponds precisely to the minimum total costs of producing any given market output. To make this important finding operational in imperfectly competitive markets, the IIM reports the degree of distorted input allocation among firms with differentiated cost structures in producing a given equilibrium imperfectly competitive market output. In measuring the monopoly power, it is known that CRn or HHI market concentration indexes, which are calculated based on the market shares of firms regarding the demand side of the market, are widely used. The measures, which take into account of the distortions in input usage, and hence, the supply side may be considered as an additional index. For example, if the market demand were shared equally by two firms (no dominant firm with respect to the demand side), it is known that the leadership would still arise when the costs of firms differed as in the dominant firm model in favor of the lower cost producing firm.

Research limitations/implications

The author recommends some more theoretical research extensions of the approach suggested here to other oligopolistic markets like the Cournot-Nash, the Stackelberg and other models. In all cases, there is a need for additional work to find some measurable variables in practice in order to estimate the input inefficiency given by the two measures and differentiate it from the inefficiency of units of outputs that are not produced.

Practical implications

It may be interesting to decompose the various estimates of welfare losses due to monopoly power as a percentage of GNP that were discussed in the literature into two inefficiency components: units of outputs that are not produced and units of inputs that are misallocated among firms.

Social implications

The government officials might be interested in assessing the degree of loss of input usage by firms in addition to output loss in oligopolistic markets summarized by the two inefficiency indexes. Law economists may be inspired in discussing the issue of input inefficiency in the context of on antitrust policy.

Originality/value

The author emphasized that the area under the market supply curve minimized the aggregate cost of producing a given total market output in competitive markets. Having recognized the importance of this finding, the author tried to apply it to imperfectly competitive markets and especially to the calculation of deadweight loss in such markets. The author showed that the total social cost could be calculated by including the input inefficiency which can be defined as the extra cost to society arising from not using the most appropriate economic resource allocation among firms in addition to the usual deadweight loss triangle. Moreover, the author had to introduce some more new terms like the market supply curve allocation, the adjusted competitive price, efficiency gain and so on, as they were necessary along the course of the analysis.

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