IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

How do Consumers Respond to Gasoline Price Cycles?

Listed author(s):
  • David P. Byrne, Gordon W. Leslie, and Roger Ware

This paper empirically studies how consumers respond to retail gasoline price cycles. Our analysis uses new station-level price data from local markets in Ontario, Canada, and a unique market-level measure of consumer responsiveness based on web traffic from gasoline price reporting websites. We first document how stations use coordinated pricing strategies that give rise to large daily changes in price levels and dispersion in cycling gasoline markets. We then show consumer responsiveness exhibits cycles that move with these price fluctuations. Through a series of tests we find that forward-looking stockpiling behavior by consumers plays a central role in generating these patterns.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/ejarticle.aspx?id=2601
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 look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 36 (2015)
Issue (Month): Number 1 ()
Pages:

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej36-1-05
Contact details of provider: Postal:
28790 Chagrin Blvd Ste 350, Cleveland, OH 44122, USA

Phone: 216-464-5365
Fax: 216-464-2737
Web page: http://www.iaee.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/ejsearch.aspx

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Zhongmin Wang, 2008. "Collusive Communication and Pricing Coordination in a Retail Gasoline Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 32(1), pages 35-52, February.
  2. Tülin Erdem & Susumu Imai & Michael Keane, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-64, March.
  3. Cabral, Luís & Fishman, Arthur, 2012. "Business as usual: A consumer search theory of sticky prices and asymmetric price adjustment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 371-376.
  4. Castanias, Rick & Johnson, Herb, 1993. "Gas Wars: Retail Gasoline Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 171-174, February.
  5. Matthew S. Lewis, 2009. "Temporary Wholesale Gasoline Price Spikes Have Long-Lasting Retail Effects: The Aftermath of Hurricane Rita," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 581-605, August.
  6. Matthew S. Lewis, 2011. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Consumer Search: An Examination of the Retail Gasoline Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 409-449, June.
  7. Andrew Eckert, 2013. "Empirical Studies Of Gasoline Retailing: A Guide To The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 140-166, February.
  8. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-599, May.
  9. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "Edgeworth Price Cycles, Cost-Based Pricing, and Sticky Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 324-334, May.
  10. Slade, Margaret E, 1987. "Interfirm Rivalry in a Repeated Game: An Empirical Test of Tacit Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 499-516, June.
  11. Eckert, Andrew, 2003. "Retail price cycles and the presence of small firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 151-170, February.
  12. Mariano Tappata, 2009. "Rockets and feathers: Understanding asymmetric pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 673-687.
  13. Matthew S. Lewis & Howard P. Marvel, 2011. "When Do Consumers Search?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 457-483, September.
  14. Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2008. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 113-134.
  15. Noel, Michael D., 2012. "Edgeworth Price Cycles and intertemporal price discrimination," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 942-954.
  16. Jean-Francois Houde, 2012. "Spatial Differentiation and Vertical Mergers in Retail Markets for Gasoline," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2147-2182, August.
  17. Nicolas de Roos & Hajime Katayama, 2013. "Gasoline Price Cycles Under Discrete Time Pricing," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(285), pages 175-193, June.
  18. Andrew Eckert, 2002. "Retail price cycles and response asymmetry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 52-77, February.
  19. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "EDGEWORTH PRICE CYCLES: EVIDENCE FROM THE TORONTO RETAIL GASOLINE MARKET -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 69-92, March.
  20. Andrew Eckert & Douglas S. West, 2004. "A tale of two cities: Price uniformity and price volatility in gasoline retailing," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(1), pages 25-46, March.
  21. Benjamin Atkinson, 2008. "On Retail Gasoline Pricing Websites: Potential Sample Selection Biases and Their Implications for Empirical Research," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 33(2), pages 161-175, September.
  22. Lewis, Matthew S., 2012. "Price leadership and coordination in retail gasoline markets with price cycles," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 342-351.
  23. Ambarish Chandra & Mariano Tappata, 2011. "Consumer search and dynamic price dispersion: an application to gasoline markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(4), pages 681-704, December.
  24. Øystein Foros & Frode Steen, 2013. "Vertical Control and Price Cycles in Gasoline Retailing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(3), pages 640-661, July.
  25. Adonis Yatchew & Joungyeo Angela No, 2001. "Household Gasoline Demand in Canada," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1697-1709, November.
  26. Michael D. Noel, 2008. "Edgeworth Price Cycles and Focal Prices: Computational Dynamic Markov Equilibria," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 345-377, June.
  27. Benjamin Atkinson, 2009. "Retail Gasoline Price Cycles: Evidence from Guelph, Ontario Using Bi-Hourly, Station-Specific Retail Price Data," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 85-110.
  28. Zhongmin Wang, 2009. "(Mixed) Strategy in Oligopoly Pricing: Evidence from Gasoline Price Cycles Before and Under a Timing Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 987-1030, December.
  29. Alan T. Sorensen, 2000. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion in Retail Markets for Prescription Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 833-862, August.
  30. Margaret E. Slade, 1992. "Vancouver's Gasoline-Price Wars: An Empirical Exercise in Uncovering Supergame Strategies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 257-276.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej36-1-05. 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: (David Williams)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.