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Miércoles 27 de septiembre de 2023

Seminario de investigación: Do cooperatives exercise market power? Evidence from pricing behavior and pass-through analysis in the retail fuel market.

Por Federico Accursi

INARBE organiza este seminario que se celebrará el 27 de septiembre a las 12,00h. en la sala de conferencias del edificio Jerónimo de Ayanz.

Abstract: Cooperatives are established with the formal aim of enhancing social welfare and economic development, but certain interest groups can divert them from these original objectives, transforming them into profit-driven enterprises. We examine this trade-off using data from over 250 cooperative-owned gas stations in Spain. Leveraging the pass-through rate as a measure of market power, we analyze the impact of an exogenous tax change on retail fuel prices after a vote of no confidence. Employing a difference-in-differences approach, our results show that cooperatives exhibit a near-complete pass-through rate of tax increases, in stark contrast to for-profit counterparts that under-shift taxes, indicating a markup adjustment. Descriptive data also reveal consistently lower prices at cooperative gas stations compared to for-profit ones. Overall, our findings provide evidence that cooperatives prioritize consumer welfare over profit maximization, challenging the notion that they act as profit-maximizing firms

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