Austrian-style gasoline price regulation: How it may backfire
AbstractIn January 2011, a price regulation was established in the Austrian gasoline market which prohibits firms from raising their prices more than once per day. Similar restrictions have been discussed in New York State and Germany. Despite their intuitive appeal, this article argues that Austrian-type policies may actually harm consumers. In a two-period duopoly model with consumer search, I show that in face of the regulation, firms will distort their prices intertemporally in such a way that their aggregate expected profit remains unchanged. This implies that, as some consumers find it optimal to delay their purchase due to expected price savings, but find it inconvenient to do so, a friction is introduced that decreases net consumer surplus in the market.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 42529.
Date of creation: 08 Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Price Regulation; Consumer Search; Price Dispersion; Intertemporal Search; Regulation; Austria;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-11-24 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-IND-2012-11-24 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-MKT-2012-11-24 (Marketing)
- NEP-REG-2012-11-24 (Regulation)
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