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The Spanish Gasoline Market: From Ceiling Regulation to Open Market Pricing

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  • Ignacio Contin
  • Aad Correlje
  • Emilio Huerta

Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of the Spanish gasoline market from the abolition of the state oil monopoly (January 1993) to "complete" liberalisation (October 1998). With the restructuring of the Spanish oil sector during the 1980s and early 1990s, a highly concentrated oligopoly emerged in the automotive fuels market. A system of price ceilings replaced the state administered prices in July 1990. Since then, new domestic and foreign operators have entered the market, particularly along the coast, near import terminals. Prices went up and then declined. These developments can be explained by an interplay of factors such as: the gradual decline in co-operation among the Spanish firms; the loss of market share of the largest of these, Repsol; the entry of independent operators and supermarkets; and the impact of the ceiling price system. By mid-1998 this system was abolished as the government considered it an "impediment" to further market liberalisation. However, some crucial barriers to the entry of new suppliers remain.

Suggested Citation

  • Ignacio Contin & Aad Correlje & Emilio Huerta, 1999. "The Spanish Gasoline Market: From Ceiling Regulation to Open Market Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1999v20-04-a01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bello, Alejandro & Cavero, Sandra, 2008. "The Spanish retail petroleum market: New patterns of competition since the liberalization of the industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 612-626, February.
    2. Juan Luis Jiménez & Jordi Perdiguero, 2013. "“One more lie: the ‘Monday effect’ in Spain’s retail petrol market”," IREA Working Papers 201324, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Dec 2013.
    3. Bello, Alejandro & Contín-Pilart, Ignacio, 2012. "Taxes, cost and demand shifters as determinants in the regional gasoline price formation process: Evidence from Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 439-448.
    4. Contín-Pilart, Ignacio & Correljé, Aad F. & Blanca Palacios, M., 2009. "Competition, regulation, and pricing behaviour in the Spanish retail gasoline market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 219-228, January.
    5. Serebrisky, Tomas, 2003. "The role of advocacy in competition policy : the case of the Argentine gasoline market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3130, The World Bank.
    6. Contín Pilart, Ignacio & Correljé, Aad F. & Palacios, María Blanca, 2006. "Competition, regulation, and pricing behavior in the Spanish retail gasoline market," BILTOKI 2006-02, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).
    7. Perdiguero García, Jordi, 2010. "Dynamic pricing in the spanish gasoline market: A tacit collusion equilibrium," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1931-1937, April.
    8. Juraj Valachy, 2002. "Price Setting in Transition: The Effect of Takeover on a Petroleum Firm," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp197, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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