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Edgeworth cycles revisited

  • Doyle, Joseph
  • Muehlegger, Erich
  • Samphantharak, Krislert

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 651-660

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:32:y:2010:i:3:p:651-660
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Strategic Motives for Vertical Separation: Evidence from Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 84-113, April.
  2. Severin Borenstein & A. Colin Cameron, 1992. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," NBER Working Papers 4138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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, 06.
  4. 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 571-99, May.
  5. George Deltas, 2008. "RETAIL GASOLINE PRICE DYNAMICS AND LOCAL MARKET POWER -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 613-628, 09.
  6. 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, 03.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrea Shepard, 1993. "Contractual Form, Retail Price, and Asset Characteristics in Gasoline Retailing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 58-77, Spring.
  9. J. Isaac Brannon, 2003. "The effects of resale price maintenance laws on petrol prices and station attrition: empirical evidence from Wisconsin," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 343-349.
  10. 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.
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