Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Does Reducing Spatial Differentiation Increase Product Differentiation? Effects of Zoning on Retail Entry and Format Variety
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Sumon Datta (Krannert School of Management, Purdue University) and K. Sudhir (Cowles Foundation and Yale School of Management) ask Does Reducing Spatial Differentiation Increase Product Differentiation? Effects of Zoning on Retail Entry and Format Variety.
ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the impact of spatial zoning restrictions on retail market outcomes. We estimate a structural model of entry, location and format choice across a large number of markets in the presence of zoning restrictions. The paper contributes to the literature in three ways: First, the paper demonstrates that estimates of factors affecting market potential and competitive intensity in the extant literature on entry and location choice that do not account for zoning restrictions are significantly biased. Second, the cross-market variations in zoning regulations helps us test and provide evidence for the theory that constraints on spatial differentiation will lead to greater product differentiation. Finally, we provide qualitative insight on how zoning impacts retail entry and format variety; in particular we evaluate the impact of prototypical zoning arrangements such as "centralized," "neighborhood," and "outskirt" zoning on entry and format variety.