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Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: Evidence from Franchised Chains

Lafontaine, Francine and Kosova , Renata and Zhao, Bo (2009) Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: Evidence from Franchised Chains. [Industry Studies Working Paper:2009-09]



We use data on the largest U.S.-based franchised chains, measured by worldwide sales, from 1998 to 2007, to explore scale and scope (or spillovers) effects. Because franchised chains are fundamentally single-product or single-concept entities, we can distinguish scale from scope effects much better than in most of the literature to date. We can also identify takeovers straightforwardly. After controlling for chain unobserved heterogeneity using fixed effects, we find strong evidence of positive scale effects within a chain, suggesting positive spillovers or network advantages from being large. As for the effect of parent company scope, measured by worldwide sales of other chains owned by the parent in the previous year, we find no effect on chain-level sales per store, but a negative effect on the number of outlets. Our analyses of what occurs upon chain takeovers further support these findings and conclusions. We find that takeovers have no effect on sales per unit in the target chain, but they lead to lower numbers of outlets in the years that follow. Moreover, controlling for takeovers is necessary to obtain unbiased estimate of the scope effects. Our findings overall are most consistent with firms engaging in some form of rationalization, or reducing competition among their chains, after taking them over.

Industry Studies Series #:2009-09
Item Type:Industry Studies Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords:industry studies, industry studies working paper, industry studies association, industry studies research
ID Code:81
Deposited By:Mr Robin Peterson
Deposited On:18 Feb 2010 13:45
Last Modified:07 Jun 2010 10:44

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