nep-mkt New Economics Papers
on Marketing
Issue of 2008‒09‒05
six papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Image Building By B. Curtis Eaton; William D. White
  2. Banking market definition: evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances By Dean F. Amel; Arthur B. Kennickell; Kevin B. Moore
  3. Product Market Synergies and Competition in Mergers and Acquisitions By Gerard Hoberg; Gordon M. Phillips
  4. Higher Food Prices: A Blessing in Disguise For Africa? By Denise Wolter
  5. Firms and Profits in the Retail Industry: Blue Ocean versus Competitive Strategy By André van Stel; Roy Thurik; Andrew Burke
  6. Does distance matter in banking? By Kenneth P. Brevoort; John D. Wolken

  1. By: B. Curtis Eaton; William D. White
    Abstract: We humans engage in a lot of costuming that can often be interpreted as type communication. Uniforms are the obvious example (cops on the beat, for example, wear uniforms because they want us to know that they are cops), but there are many other examples. This paper models costuming, or image building, as type communication. At the heart of the analysis is a model of social interaction in which information concerning the type of the people with whom we interact is mutually valuable - that is, valuable to them and to us. We first examine the equilibria of an image building game in which players choose their costumes and then engage in a series of social interactions in which their costumes might serve as type signals. Obviously, there are as many perfect signaling equilibria as there are ways to assign costumes to player types, so the image building game has a very nasty coordination problem. We look at two ways in which this problem might be solved. First we look for salient, history dependent costume replacement strategies in a dynamic image building game with imperfectly durable costumes. Then we examine the possibility that the firms who make and sell costumes can solve the coordination problem through image advertising. Image advertising as we conceive of it has a number of interesting features that distinguish it from other forms of advertising.
    Date: 2008–01–28
  2. By: Dean F. Amel; Arthur B. Kennickell; Kevin B. Moore
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the triennial waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances from 1992 to 2004 to examine changes in the use of financial services with implications for the definition of banking markets. Despite powerful technological and regulatory shifts over this period, households' banking markets overall remained largely local--the median distance to a provider of financial services remained under four miles. However, there has been rapid growth in the use of non-depository financial institutions over the period, particularly non-local ones. This increase occurred across a wide variety of demographic and other household classifications. The evidence on the clustering of financial services is mixed. Households showed a slightly greater tendency to buy multiple banking services from their primary provider of such services in 2004 than in 1992, while they also became much more likely to procure services from firms that were not their primary provider.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Gerard Hoberg; Gordon M. Phillips
    Abstract: We examine how product differentiation influences mergers and acquisitions and the ability of firms to exploit product market synergies. Using novel text-based analysis of firm 10K product descriptions, we find three key results. (1) Firms are more likely to enter restructuring transactions when the language describing their assets is similar to all other firms, consistent with their assets being more redeployable. (2) Targets earn lower announcement returns when similar alternative target firms exist. (3) Acquiring firms in competitive product markets experience increased profitability, higher sales growth, and increased changes in their product descriptions when they buy target firms that are similar to them and different from rival firms. Our findings are consistent with similar merging firms exploiting synergies to create new products and increase their product differentiation relative to ex-ante rivals.
    JEL: G3 G34
    Date: 2008–08
  4. By: Denise Wolter
    Abstract: Higher food prices are likely to stay; emergency aid can only be a short-term solution. Making African agriculture a profitable business could turn a food-price curse into a blessing. African governments and donors should promote the commercialisation of food crops.
    Date: 2008–05
  5. By: André van Stel; Roy Thurik; Andrew Burke
    Abstract: The recent work of Kim and Mauborgne (2005a) has sought to turn strategic management on its head. They note that the field has been dominated by Porter’s (1980, 1985) competitive strategy and it has placed too much emphasis on the importance of competition and rivalry. By contrast they argue in favour of an alternative strategic approach – blue ocean strategy – where firms focus on value innovation, creating consumer demand and exploiting untapped markets. So far empirical analysis in this debate has been focused on case study evidence and hence has been limited in its ability to generalise. The massive appeal of the blue ocean strategy is in stark contrast with the paucity of research testing the viability and relevance of this alternative strategic approach. In this paper we use a comprehensive data set on the Dutch retail industry in order to bring some statistical evidence to the debate. We investigate the prevalence of blue ocean versus competitive strategy in this industry over the period 1982-2000. Our results show that blue ocean strategy and competitive strategy coexist within the same competitive theoretical framework. The results highlight that the dominance of either form of strategy is not categorical but rather determined by the market conditions in which the firms operate.
    Date: 2008–06–09
  6. By: Kenneth P. Brevoort; John D. Wolken
    Abstract: Deregulation and technological change have reduced the transactions costs that led to the dominance of local financial service suppliers, leading some to question if distance still matters in banking. This debate has been particularly acute in small business banking, where transactions costs are believed to be particularly high. This paper provides a detailed review of the literature on distance in banking markets, highlighting the reasons why geographic proximity is believed to be important and examining the changes that may have affected its importance. Relying on new data from the 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances, we examine how distances between small firms and their financial service suppliers changed over the 1993-2003 decade. Our analysis reveals that distances increased, though the extent varied substantially across financial services and supplier types. Generally, increases were observed in the early half of the decade, while distances declined in the following five years. There was also a trend towards less in person interaction between small firms and their suppliers of financial services. Nevertheless, most relationships remained local, with a median distance of 5 miles in 2003. The results suggest that distance, while perhaps not as tyrannical as in the past, remains an important factor in banking.
    Date: 2008

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