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The Speed of Gasoline Price Response in Markets with and without Edgeworth Cycles

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Author Info

  • Matthew Lewis

    (Ohio State University)

  • Michael Noel

    (University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

Retail gasoline prices are known to respond fairly slowly to wholesale price changes. This does not appear to be true for markets with Edgeworth price cycles. Recently many retail gasoline markets in the midwestern United States and other countries have been shown to exhibit price cycles in which competition generates rapid cyclical retail price movements. We show that cost changes in cycling markets are passed on two to three times faster than in markets without cycles. We argue that the constant price movement inherent within the Edgeworth cycle eliminates price frictions and allows firms to pass on cost fluctuations more easily. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00176
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 672-682

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:2:p:672-682

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References

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  1. Doyle, Joseph & Muehlegger, Erich & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2010. "Edgeworth cycles revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 651-660, May.
  2. Lewis, Matt, 2004. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Consumer Search: An Examination of the Retail Gasoline Market," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9pv2d9fn, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Lance J. Bachmeier & James M. Griffin, 2003. "New Evidence on Asymmetric Gasoline Price Responses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 772-776, August.
  4. George Deltas, 2008. "RETAIL GASOLINE PRICE DYNAMICS AND LOCAL MARKET POWER -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 613-628, 09.
  5. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "Edgeworth Price Cycles, Cost-Based Pricing, and Sticky Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 324-334, May.
  6. Borenstein, Severin & Cameron, A Colin & Gilbert, Richard, 1997. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 305-39, February.
  7. Zhongmin Wang, 2008. "Collusive Communication and Pricing Coordination in a Retail Gasoline Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 35-52, February.
  8. Eckert, Andrew, 2003. "Retail price cycles and the presence of small firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 151-170, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beare, Brendan K. & Seo, Juwon, 2012. "Time irreversible copula-based Markov Models," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt31f8500p, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Fink, Jason D. & Fink, Kristin E., 2013. "Hurricane forecast revisions and petroleum refiner equity returns," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-11.
  3. David P.Byrne & Roger Ware, 2011. "Price Cycles and Price Leadership in Gasoline Markets: New Evidence from Canada," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1124, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Seaton, Jonathan S. & Waterson, Michael, 2012. "Identifying and characterising price leadership in British supermarkets," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 987, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Matthias Firgo & Dieter Pennerstorfer & Christoph Weiss, 2012. "Centrality and Pricing in Spatially Differentiated Markets: The Case of Gasoline," WIFO Working Papers 432, WIFO.
  6. Paul Zimmerman & John Yun & Christopher Taylor, 2013. "Edgeworth Price Cycles in Gasoline: Evidence from the United States," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 297-320, May.
  7. Noel, Michael D., 2012. "Edgeworth Price Cycles and intertemporal price discrimination," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 942-954.
  8. Riemer P. Faber, 2009. "Asymmetric Price Responses of Gasoline Stations: Evidence for Heterogeneity of Retailers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-106/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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