Previous advertising intensity models have failed toaddress adequately the rivalry effects of leadingfirms trying to protect and enhance the marketshares of their brands. We argue that the relativedegree of market share parity among leading firms inoligopolies is a crucial determinant of marketadvertising levels. This study presents a modelthat more thoroughly characterizes market structureby including the variance in the market shares ofthe top four firms along with the concentrationratio. This model is then tested using a unique1987 data set of 58 well-defined U.S. food andtobacco manufacturing markets that used private datavendors for branded product market shares and mediaadvertising aimed at household consumers. We findthat industry advertising-to-sales ratios arehighest in those industries with the highestprice-cost margins, highest concentration, and thosewith equally-sized leading firms. Oligopolists seemunable to control advertising expenses asconcentration increases and they likely overinvestin advertising rivalry when they have similar marketshares.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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