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Political determinants of fossil fuel pricing

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  • van Beers, Cees
  • Strand, Jon

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical analysis of economic and political determinants of gasoline and diesel prices for about 200 countries over the period 1991-2010. A range of both political and economic variables are found to systematically influence fuel prices, and in ways that differ systematically with countries’ per-capita income levels. For democracies, the analysis finds that fuel prices correlate positively with both duration of democracy and tenure of democratic leaders. In non-democratic societies there is more often no such relationship or it is the opposite of that for democracies. Regime switches -- transitions from non-democratic to democratic government, or vice versa -- reduce fuel prices. Fuel prices are also lower for more corrupt, or more centralized, governments. Higher levels of gross domestic product per capita lead to higher fuel prices, while export income from selling fossil fuels reduces these prices dramatically. Higher motor fuel consumption also appears to reduce fuel prices, most for gasoline. Absolute"pass-through"of crude oil price changes to fuel prices is found to be high on average.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6470.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6470

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Keywords: Energy Production and Transportation; Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Economic Theory&Research; Emerging Markets; Transport and Environment;

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  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutions and Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 75-98, Winter.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The Size and Scope of Government: Comparative Politics With Rational Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 2051, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert Deacon, 2009. "Public good provision under dictatorship and democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 241-262, April.
  4. John M. Piotrowski & David Coady & Justin Tyson & Rolando Ossowski & Robert Gillingham & Shamsuddin Tareq, 2010. "Petroleum Product Subsidies: Costly, Inequitable, and On the Rise," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/05, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  6. Deacon, Robert & Saha, Sarani, 2005. "Public Good Provision by Dictatorships: A Survey," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt1jk5b0vr, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  7. Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Julian Messina & Jamele Rigolini & Luis-Felipe López-Calva & Maria Ana Lugo & Renos Vakis, 2013. "Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11858, January.
  8. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
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