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Experimental gasoline markets

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  • Deck, Cary A.
  • Wilson, Bart J.

Abstract

Zone pricing in wholesale gasoline markets is a contentious topic in the public policy debate. With a controlled laboratory experiment, we investigate the competitive effects of zone pricing on consumers, retail stations, and refiners vis-á-vis the proposed policy prescription of uniform wholesale pricing to retailers. We also examine the issue of divorcement and the "rockets and feathers" phenomenon. The former is the legal restriction that refiners and retailers cannot be vertically integrated, and the latter is the perception that retail gasoline prices rise faster than they fall in response to random walk movements in the world price for oil.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 134-149

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:134-149

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References

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  1. Douglas D. Davis & Oleg Korenok, 2005. "Posted - Offer Markets In Near Continuous Time: an Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 0504, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  2. Ronald Johnson, 2002. "Search Costs, Lags and Prices at the Pump," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 33-50, February.
  3. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-99, May.
  4. Severin Borenstein & A. Colin Cameron, 1992. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," NBER Working Papers 4138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
  6. Cason Timothy N. & Friedman Daniel, 2002. "A Laboratory Study of Customer Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-45, February.
  7. Durham, Yvonne, 2000. "An experimental examination of double marginalization and vertical relationships," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 207-229, June.
  8. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
  9. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  10. Vita, Michael G, 2000. "Regulatory Restrictions on Vertical Integration and Control: The Competitive Impact of Gasoline Divorcement Policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 217-33, November.
  11. Andrea Shepard, 1993. "Contractual Form, Retail Price, and Asset Characteristics in Gasoline Retailing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 58-77, Spring.
  12. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
  13. Castanias, Rick & Johnson, Herb, 1993. "Gas Wars: Retail Gasoline Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 171-74, February.
  14. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 1996. "Petrol Price Asymmetries Revisited," Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics Discussion Papers (SEEDS) 89, Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  15. Justine S. Hastings, 2004. "Vertical Relationships and Competition in Retail Gasoline Markets: Empirical Evidence from Contract Changes in Southern California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 317-328, March.
  16. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  17. Jeremy I. Bulow & Jeffrey H. Fischer & Jay S. Creswell, Jr. & Christopher T. Taylor, 2003. "U.S. Midwest Gasoline Pricing and the Spring 2000 Price Spike," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 121-149.
  18. Barron, John M & Umbeck, John R, 1984. "The Effects of Different Contractual Arrangements: The Case of Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 313-28, October.
  19. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett H., 2003. "Bargaining versus posted price competition in customer markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 223-251, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Davis, Douglas, 2009. "Pure numbers effects, market power, and tacit collusion in posted offer markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 475-488, October.
  2. Cary Deck & Jingping Gu, 2010. "Price Increasing Competition? Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 10-19, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  3. Hans-Theo Normann & Roberto Ricciuti, 2009. "Laboratory Experiments For Economic Policy Making," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 407-432, 07.
  4. Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Robert Reilly, 2009. "Re-matching, information and sequencing effects in posted offer markets," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 65-86, March.
  5. Kyle Hampton & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2010. "Demand Shocks, Capacity Coordination and Industry Performance: Lessons from Economic Laboratory," Working Papers 201023, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  6. Mikhael Shor, 2008. "An experiment on strategic capacity reduction," Working papers 2012-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  7. Haucap, Justus & Müller, Hans Christian, 2012. "The Effects of Gasoline Price Regulations: Experimental Evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 47, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  8. Douglas D. Davis & Oleg Korenok, 2009. "Posted Offer Markets In Near-Continuous Time: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 449-466, 07.
  9. Castilla, Carolina & Haab, Timothy C., 2010. "Asymmetric Search and Loss Aversion: Choice Experiment on Consumer Willingness to Search in the Gasoline Retail Market," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61672, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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