Original scientific paper

Price dispersion in neighboring countries in the Western Balkans - the case of the Macedonian tomato industry

2013, 14 (1)   p. 363-377



The aim of this paper was to analyze the degree of change in price and co- movement of prices between markets. The distinctiveness of the study is that it introduced a single product (highly perishable product) price relationship analysis between a pair of spatially separated markets in the countries of the Western Balkan. This study attempts to comprehend to what extent the Macedonian domestic market is integrated into the regional markets, as well as to understand the relationship between the spatially separated regional markets. The data refer to the domestic Macedonian market and four different regional markets (Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro), as major importers of Macedonian fresh tomatoes. These countries were part of a common market until the 1990’s and in the past period transited to a market economy. The method used is common time series analysis through unit root test, co-integration test and causality test. The study showed that the Macedonian economy, especially in terms of the tomato industry, is highly vulnerable and dependant on external markets. Future developments do not only depend upon the advances in the country, but also on developments in the export destinations. This also applies to the other concerned countries in the regions. The main finding is that a small country such as Macedonia is absorbed by developments in other countries in the region. This finding is supported by the results of the study that demonstrated a high level of co-integration between the domestic and regional markets.


co-movement of prices, price dispersion, price transmission, spatially separated markets, western balkan countries

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