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  • 1. Asplund, Marcus
    Risk-averse firms in oligopoly2002In: International Journal of Industrial Organization, ISSN 0167-7187, E-ISSN 1873-7986, Vol. 20, no 7, p. 995-1012Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Does risk aversion lead to softer or fiercer competition? This paper provides a framework that accommodates a wide range of alternative assumptions regarding the nature of competition and types of uncertainty. It shows how risk aversion influences firms' best-response strategies. Only in the case of marginal cost uncertainty does higher risk aversion make competition unambiguously softer. The risk-averse best response strategies depend on the level of fixed costs. This fact is used to analyse strategic investments in capacity and the importance of accumulated profits. The paper concludes with a discussion of ways of empirically testing for risk-averse behaviour in oligopoly.

  • 2. Asplund, Marcus
    What fraction of a capital investment is sunk costs?2000In: Journal of Industrial Economics, ISSN 0022-1821, E-ISSN 1467-6451, Vol. 48, no 3, p. 287-304Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To what extent are capital investments sunk costs? This question is addressed by examining the salvage values of discarded metalworking machinery. Even though such assets are expected to be non-specific, many discarded assets are scrapped rather than sold on second-hand markets. Econometric results suggest that firms can only expect to get back 20-50 percent of the initial price of a 'new' machine once it is installed. The results also indicate differences in value-age profiles across firms, but provide only weak support for the hypothesis that salvage values are particularly low during recessions.

  • 3. Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    Eriksson, R.
    Friberg, R.
    Price adjustments by a gasoline retail chain2000In: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, ISSN 0347-0520, E-ISSN 1467-9442, Vol. 102, no 1, p. 101-121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We use daily data to examine price responses in the Swedish gasoline market to changes in the Rotterdam spot price, exchange rates and taxes. The distribution of price adjustments by a leading retail chain, for the period January 1980 to December 1996, is symmetric with no small adjustments. An error correction model shows that, in the short run, prices gradually move towards the long-run equilibrium in response to cost shocks. There is some evidence that, also in the short run, prices are stickier downwards than upwards. Prices respond more rapidly to exchange rate movements than to the spot market price. Our analysis emphasizes that to fully understand price adjustments it is necessary to examine data sets where the sample frequency at least matches that of price adjustments.

  • 4. Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    Eriksson, R.
    Strand, N.
    Prices, margins and liquidity constraints: Swedish newspapers, 1990-19922005In: Economica, ISSN 0013-0427, E-ISSN 1468-0335, Vol. 72, no 286, p. 349-359Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A firm facing liquidity constraints in a recession may increase its price to exploit locked-in consumers in an attempt to boost short-run profits. We find support for such behaviour for Swedish regional newspapers during a deep recession. Newspapers sell both subscriptions and advertising space, and arguably buyers of the latter are less locked in. Newspapers with low solvency raised their subscription prices relative to others. In contrast, the changes in advertising price were independent of the newspapers' financial positions. Hence financial constraints affected firms' pricing behaviour only when consumers were locked in.

  • 5.
    Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport and Economics (closed 20110301).
    Eriksson, Rickard
    Strand, Niklas
    Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: evidence from regional newspapers2008In: Journal of Industrial Economics, ISSN 0022-1821, E-ISSN 1467-6451, Vol. 56, no 2, p. 333-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent theoretical work has shown that the incentive to target rival firms' customers with low prices can increase price discrimination, and that the strength of the incentive depends on a firm's market position. Using data on Swedish newspaper subscriptions, we find strong support for these predictions. Newspapers with a local competitor sell a larger part of their circulation at a discount than monopoly newspapers. Moreover, in competitive markets, the use of discounts is inversely related to the newspaper's market share. We find no evidence that price discrimination based on observable and exogenous characteristics is influenced by the market structure.

  • 6. Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    Friberg, R.
    Food prices and market structure in Sweden2002In: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, ISSN 0347-0520, E-ISSN 1467-9442, Vol. 104, no 4, p. 547-566Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines retail grocery price levels across a large panel of stores in Sweden. We explain price variation across stores by market structure variables to capture differences in competition intensity and a number of store- and region-specific factors. Most of the explained variation in prices can be attributed to store-specific factors such as size and chain affiliation. Overall, the relation between market structure variables and food prices is weak, and effects are small in percentage terms. Nevertheless, higher local concentration of stores, higher regional wholesaler concentration and a lower market share of large stores are all correlated with higher prices.

  • 7. Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    Friberg, R.
    The law of one price in Scandinavian duty-free stores2001In: The American Economic Review, ISSN 0002-8282, E-ISSN 1944-7981, Vol. 91, no 4, p. 1072-1083Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport and Economics, Economics.
    Friberg, Richard
    Wilander, Fredrik
    Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping2007In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 91, no 1-2, p. 141-157Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An important issue for commodity taxation is the extent to which changes in foreign taxes affect the extent of cross-border shopping and thereby, domestic tax revenue. We use data from Swedish municipalities to estimate how responsive alcohol sales are to foreign prices, and relate the sensitivity to the location's distance to the border. Typical results suggest that the elasticity with respect to the foreign price is around 0.3 in the border region; moving 150 (400) km inland reduces the cross-price elasticity to 0.2 (0.1). Our estimates suggest that a recent Danish cut in the spirits tax reduced Swedish tax revenues from spirits sales by more than 2%, and that an attempt by Sweden to cut taxes in response would reduce tax revenues further.

  • 9. Asplund, Marcus
    et al.
    Nocke, V.
    Firm turnover in imperfectly competitive markets2006In: The Review of Economic Studies, ISSN 0034-6527, E-ISSN 1467-937X, Vol. 73, no 2, p. 295-327Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is motivated by the empirical regularity that industries differ greatly in the level of firm turnover and that entry and exit rates are positively correlated across industries. Our objective is to investigate the effect of fixed costs and, in particular. market size on entry and exit rates and hence on the age distribution of firms. We analyse a stochastic dynamic model of a monopolistically competitive industry. Each firm's efficiency is assumed to follow a Markov process. We show existence and uniqueness of a stationary equilibrium with simultaneous entry and exit: efficient firms survive, while inefficient ones leave the market and are replaced by new entrants. We perform comparative dynamics with respect to the level of fixed costs: entry costs are negatively related and fixed production costs positively related to entry and exit rates. A central empirical prediction of the model is that the level of firm turnover is increasing in market size. In larger markets, competition is endogenously more intense than in smaller markets, and so price-cost margins are smaller. This price competition effect implies that the marginal surviving firm has to be more efficient than in smaller markets. Hence, in larger markets, the expected lifespan of firms is shorter, and the age distribution of firms is first-order stochastically dominated by that in smaller markets. In the empirical part, the prediction on market size and firm turnover is tested on an industry where firms compete in well-defined geographical markets of different sizes. Using data on hair salons in Sweden, we show that an increase in market size or fixed costs shifts the a-e distribution of firms towards younger firms, as predicted by the model.

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