Economic impact of category captaincy: An examination of assortments and prices

Madhu Viswanathan, Om Narasimhan, George John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We empirically investigate the impact of category captaincy, an arrangement where the retailer works exclusively with a manufacturer to manage both the manufac-turer’s and his rivals’ products. Using a unique data set that contains information on category captaincy as well as SKU-store-level sales and price across 24 retail chains and eight local markets in the United States for a frozen food category, we quantify the impact of captaincy on prices, assortments, profits, and consumer welfare. Interestingly, our estimates suggest that captaincy can lead to welfare gains for consumers, which argues against a purely negative view of captaincy by policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-282
Number of pages22
JournalMarketing Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Category captaincy
  • Category management
  • Moment inequalities
  • Retail
  • Structural models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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