Edgeworth cycles revisited
Some gasoline markets exhibit remarkable price cycles, where price spikes are followed by a series of small price declines: a pattern consistent with a model of Edgeworth cycles described by Maskin and Tirole. We extend the model and empirically test its predictions with a new dataset of daily station-level prices in 115 US cities. Consistent with the theory, and often in contrast with previous empirical work, we find the least and most concentrated markets are much less likely to exhibit cycling behavior both within and across cities; areas with more independent convenience-store gas stations are also more likely to cycle.
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