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An Exploration of Australian Petrol Demand: Unobservable Habits, Irreversibility and Some Updated Estimates

  • ROBERT V. BREUNIG
  • CAROL GISZ

We explore a methodological improvement to the standard dynamic demand model for petrol - a general model which allows for slowly evolving, unobservable habits. If this habit formation model is correct, then standard estimation techniques produce inconsistent estimates. We find price elasticities of -0.13 (short-run) and -0.20 (long-run). Importantly, standard techniques are misleading about the precision of elasticity estimates and the confidence interval around the long-run price elasticity is quite wide. We test for price irreversibility and find, in contrast to the USA, almost no evidence that petrol responds differently to price increases and decreases. Copyright © 2009 The Economic Society of Australia.

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Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 85 (2009)
Issue (Month): 268 (03)
Pages: 73-91

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:85:y:2009:i:268:p:73-91
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  1. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
  2. Baltagi, Badi H. & Griffin, James M., 1983. "Gasoline demand in the OECD : An application of pooling and testing procedures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 117-137, July.
  3. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
  4. Lester C. Hunt & Yasushi Ninomiya, 2003. "Unravelling Trends and Seasonality: A Structural Time Series Analysis of Transport Oil Demand in the UK and Japan," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 63-96.
  5. Drollas, Leonidas P., 1984. "The demand for gasoline : Further evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 71-82, January.
  6. Baltagi, Badi H. & Griffin, James M., 1997. "Pooled estimators vs. their heterogeneous counterparts in the context of dynamic demand for gasoline," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 303-327, April.
  7. Christopher Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2006. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," Working Papers 625, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. Donnelly, W A, 1982. "The Regional Demand for Petrol in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 58(163), pages 317-27, December.
  9. John Dimitropoulos & Lester C Hunt & Guy Judge, 2004. "Estimating Underlying Energy Demand Trends using UK Annual Data," Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics Discussion Papers (SEEDS) 108, Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  10. Dargay, Joyce & Gately, Dermot, 1997. "The demand for transportation fuels: Imperfect price-reversibility?," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 71-82, February.
  11. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
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