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Explaining Fluctuations in Gasoline Prices: A Joint Model of the Global Crude Oil Market and the U.S. Retail Gasoline Market

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  • Lutz Kilian

Abstract

The distinction between the price of gasoline in the U.S. and the price of crude oil in global markets is often ignored in discussions of the impact of higher energy prices. This article makes explicit the relationship between demand and supply shocks in these two markets. Building on a recently proposed structural VAR model of the global crude oil market, it explores the implications of a joint VAR model of the global market for crude oil and the U.S. market for motor gasoline. It is shown that it is essential to understand the origins of a given gasoline price shock, when assessing the responses of the price of gasoline and of gasoline consumption, since each demand and supply shock is associated with responses of different magnitude, pattern and persistence. The article assesses the overall importance of these shocks in explaining the variation in U.S. gasoline prices and consumption growth, as well as their relative contribution to the evolution of U.S. gasoline prices since 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Kilian, 2010. "Explaining Fluctuations in Gasoline Prices: A Joint Model of the Global Crude Oil Market and the U.S. Retail Gasoline Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 87-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2010v31-02-a04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert A. Jarrow, 2009. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 69-96, November.
    2. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
    3. Margrabe, William, 1978. "The Value of an Option to Exchange One Asset for Another," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 177-186, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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