IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Testing Alternative Hypotheses of Oil Producer Behavior


  • Carol Dahl
  • Mine Yucel


Conventional wisdom holds that OPEC is a weakly functioning cartel with non-OPEC producers forming a "competitive fringe." However, several studies have challenged the cartel hypothesis for OPEC with a few even challenging the competitive hypothesis for non-OPEC producers. In this paper, we test competing hypotheses (which include dynamic optimization, targetrevenue, competition, cartel, and swing production) for production decisions for both OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Recently developed cost data allow these tests to be done on the most general model to date. In our tests, we find no evidence for dynamic optimization. Formal target-revenue models are rejected, but there is some evidence that revenue targeting may influence production for some OPEC countries and a few non-OPEC countries. We find no evidence that any of the OPEC countries behave in a competitive manner. More surprisingly, we find no evidence that the fringe is competitive. Using cointegration tests, we are unable to find formal evidence of coordination in the form of strict cartel behavior or swing production among OPEC countries. Taken as a whole, the evidence suggests that loose coordination or duopoly is most consistent with OPEC behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Dahl & Mine Yucel, 1991. "Testing Alternative Hypotheses of Oil Producer Behavior," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 117-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1991v12-04-a08

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to IAEE members and subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1991v12-04-a08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: David Williams (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.