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Imperfect Price-Reversibility of U.S. Gasoline Demand: Asymmetric Responses to Price Increases and Declines

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  • Dermot Gately
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    Abstract

    This paper describes a framework for analyzing the imperfect pricereversibility ("hysteresis") of oil demand. The oil demand reductions following the oil price increases of the 1970s will not be completely reversed by the price cuts of the 1980s, nor is it necessarily true that these partial demand reversals themselves will be reversed exactly by future price increases. We decompose price into three monotonic series: price increases to maximum historic levels, price cuts, and price recoveries (increases below historic highs). We would expect that the response to price cuts would be no greater than to price recoveries, which in turn would be no greater than for increases in maximum historic price. For evidence of imperfect price-reversibility, we test econometrically the following U.S. data: vehicle miles per driver, the fuel efficiency of the automobile fleet, and gasoline demand per driver. In each case, our econometric results allow us to reject the hypothesis of perfect price-reversibility. The data show smaller response to price cuts than to price increases. This has dramatic implications for projections of gasoline and oil demand, especially under low-price assumptions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

    Volume (Year): Volume 13 (1992)
    Issue (Month): Number 4 ()
    Pages: 179-208

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1992v13-04-a10

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    Cited by:
    1. Kareem Ismail & Rabah Arezki, 2010. "Boom-Bust Cycle, Asymmetrical Fiscal Response and the Dutch Disease," IMF Working Papers 10/94, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Greening, Lorna A. & Ting, Mike & Davis, William B., 1999. "Decomposition of aggregate carbon intensity for freight: trends from 10 OECD countries for the period 1971-1993," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 331-361, August.
    3. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2009. "Natural gas demand in Turkey," MPRA Paper 19091, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jordi Perdiguero-García, 2010. "“Symmetric or asymmetric gasoline prices? A metaanalysis approach”," IREA Working Papers 201013, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2010.
    5. Wohlgemuth, Norbert, 1997. "World transport energy demand modelling : Methodology and elasticities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(14-15), pages 1109-1119, December.
    6. Dargay, Joyce & Gately, Dermot, 1997. "The demand for transportation fuels: Imperfect price-reversibility?," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 71-82, February.
    7. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2007. "Electricity Demand Analysis Using Cointegration and ARIMA Modelling: A case study of Turkey," MPRA Paper 19099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Dimitropoulos, John, 2007. "Energy productivity improvements and the rebound effect: An overview of the state of knowledge," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6354-6363, December.
    9. Plotkin, Steven E & Greene, David, 1997. "Prospects for improving the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(14-15), pages 1179-1188, December.
    10. Orasch, Wolfgang & Wirl, Franz, 1997. "Technological efficiency and the demand for energy (road transport)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(14-15), pages 1129-1136, December.
    11. Clerides, Sofronis & Zachariadis, Theodoros, 2008. "The effect of standards and fuel prices on automobile fuel economy: An international analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2657-2672, September.
    12. Greening, Lorna A. & Davis, William B. & Schipper, Lee, 1998. "Decomposition of aggregate carbon intensity for the manufacturing sector: comparison of declining trends from 10 OECD countries for the period 1971-1991," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 43-65, February.
    13. Cleveland, Cutler J., 1995. "Resource degradation, technical change, and the productivity of energy use in U.S. agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 185-201, June.
    14. Martijn Brons & Peter Nijkamp & Eric Pels & Piet Rietveld, 2006. "A Meta-analysis of the Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand. A System of Equations Approach," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-106/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. De Santis, Roberto A., 2003. "Crude oil price fluctuations and Saudi Arabia's behaviour," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 155-173, March.
    16. Haas, Reinhard & Schipper, Lee, 1998. "Residential energy demand in OECD-countries and the role of irreversible efficiency improvements," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 421-442, September.
    17. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.

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