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World Oil: Market or Mayhem?

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  • James L. Smith

Abstract

The world oil market is regarded by many as a puzzle. Why are oil prices so volatile? What is OPEC and what does OPEC do? Where are oil prices headed in the long run? Is “peak oil” a genuine concern? Why did oil prices spike in the summer of 2008, and what role did speculators play? Any attempt to answer these questions must be informed and disciplined by economics. Such is the purpose of this essay: to illuminate recent developments in the world oil market from the perspective of economic theory.

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Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 0815.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:mee:wpaper:0815

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  1. Anne-Marie Brook & Robert W.R. Price & Douglas Sutherland & Niels Westerlund & Christophe André, 2004. "Oil Price Developments: Drivers, Economic Consequences and Policy Responses," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 412, OECD Publishing.
  2. Dermot Gately & Hiliard G. Huntington, 2002. "The Asymmetric Effects of Changes in Price and Income on Energy and Oil Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 19-55.
  3. René M. Stulz, 1996. "Rethinking Risk Management," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(3), pages 8-25.
  4. M.A. Adelman and G.C. Watkins, 2008. "Reserve Prices and Mineral Resource Theory," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-16.
  5. Robert K. Kaufmann, Stephane Dees, Pavlos Karadeloglou and Marcelo Sanchez, 2004. "Does OPEC Matter? An Econometric Analysis of Oil Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 67-90.
  6. Roberto F. Aguilera & Roderick G. Eggert & Gustavo Lagos C.C. & John E. Tilton, 2009. "Depletion and the Future Availability of Petroleum Resources," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 141-174.
  7. Stephen P. Holland, 2008. "Modeling Peak Oil," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 61-80.
  8. James D. Hamilton, 2008. "Understanding Crude Oil Prices," NBER Working Papers 14492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Brandt, Adam R., 2007. "Testing Hubbert," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 3074-3088, May.
  10. James L. Smith, 2003. "Inscrutable OPEC? Behavioral Tests of the Cartel Hypothesis," Working Papers 0305, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  11. Jan Bentzen, 2007. "Does OPEC influence crude oil prices? Testing for co-movements and causality between regional crude oil prices," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(11), pages 1375-1385.
  12. Regnier, Eva, 2007. "Oil and energy price volatility," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 405-427, May.
  13. John C.B. Cooper, 2003. "Price elasticity of demand for crude oil: estimates for 23 countries," OPEC Energy Review, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, vol. 27(1), pages 1-8, 03.
  14. Adelman, M. A., 2002. "World oil production & prices 1947-2000," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 169-191.
  15. Dermot Gately, 2007. "What Oil Export Levels Should We Expect From OPEC?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 151-174.
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