University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Nathalie Lavoie
Industrial Organization
220A Stockbridge Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

My interests revolve around product differentiation and trade. These two areas are fascinating in the context of consumers' increasing demand for high-quality food products and the opening of trade occurring under the WTO agreement. My research agenda involves examining various aspects of two important trends in agri-food industries as they relate to market structure and performance: 1) the increase in concentration at various stages of the food industry, 2) the growing consumer demand for quality, taste, appearance, and ethical values of food products. The demand for more differentiated products has interesting economic ramifications because product differentiation is one source of firms’ market power. In other words, as products become more differentiated, firms obtain the ability to capture economic profit at the expense of consumers. Examples of my work include the examination of price discrimination when goods are differentiated by quality, the impact of trade reforms on the quality of products traded, and the examination of market power in the U.S. butter and margarine industry using brand level scanner data.

Recent Publications

Bauner, C., N. Lavoie, and C. Rojas, 2016. "Effects of Technological Progress on Vertical Product Differentiation and Welfare.” European Review of Agricultural Economics, 1-31, DOI: 1010.1093/erae/jbw012

Grolleau, G., L. Ibanez, and N. Lavoie, 2016. “Cause-related Marketing of Products with a Negative Externality.” Journal of Business Research, 69(10):4321-4330. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.04.006

Joseph, S., N. Lavoie, and J.A. Caswell, 2014. “Implementing COOL: Comparative Welfare Effects of Different Labeling Schemes.” Food Policy, 44: 14-25..

C. Rojas, N. Lavoie and S. Wang, 2012. “Buyer Market Power and Vertically Differentiated Retailers.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization, 10 (1). DOI: 10.1515/1542-0485.1338

McEvoy, D.M., S. Brandt, N. Lavoie, and S. Anders, 2009. “The Effects of ITQ Management on Fishermen’s Welfare When the Processing Sector is Imperfectly Competitive.” Land Economics, 85(3): 470-484. (Note: Second authorship is shared equally between Brandt and Lavoie.)

Volpe III, R.J. and N. Lavoie, 2008. “The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England.” Review of Agricultural Economics, 30(1): 4-26.

Lavoie, N. and Q. Liu, 2007. “Pricing-to-Market: Price Discrimination or Product Differentiation?”American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 89(3):571-581.

Lavoie, N., 2005. “Price Discrimination in the Context of Vertical Differentiation: An Application to Canadian Wheat Exports.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 87(4):835-854.

Lavoie, N., 2005. “Price Behavior in a Dynamic Oligopsony: Washington Processing Potatoes – A Comment.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 87(3): 796-801.

Sexton, R.J. and N. Lavoie, 2001. “Food Processing and Distribution: An Industrial Organization Approach,” in: Gardner, B. and G.C. Rausser, eds. Handbook of Agricultural Economics, North-Holland, Amsterdam, p. 863-932.

Chalfant, J.A., J.S. James, N. Lavoie, and R.J. Sexton, 2000. “Grading Error Reduces Grower Incentives to Increase Prune Quality.” California Agriculture, 54(6):66-71.

Chalfant, J.A., J.S. James, N. Lavoie, and R.J. Sexton, 1999. “Asymmetric Grading Error and Adverse Selection: Lemons in the California Prune Industry.” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 24(1):57-79.

Giannakas, K., R. Gray, and N. Lavoie, 1999. “The Impact of Protein Increments on Blending Revenues in the Canadian Wheat Industry.” International Advances in Economics Research, 5(1):121-136.

Lavoie, N., 1994. “The Impact of the U.S. Export Enhancement Program on the Exports of Canadian Durum to the U.S.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 76(5):1280-1287.

Recent Activities

In the undergraduate program, I teach Introduction to Resource Economics (RESEC 102), an introductory course in microeconomics. I also teach Industrial Organization in Resource Economics (RESEC 452) and its honors’ section. This is a senior level course where we examine markets; their structure, the strategies used by firms involved in the markets, and the overall economic performance of markets. I have taught in the past the intermediate level course in microeconomics. In the graduate program, I have taught Industrial Organization I in Resource Economics (RESEC 732) and team-taught Industrial Organization II in Resource Economics (RESEC 797M).