IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eneeco/v84y2019ics0140988319303032.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Market power and second degree price discrimination in retail gasoline markets

Author

Listed:
  • Roach, Travis

Abstract

Empirical evidence of ‘quality-based’ second degree price discrimination is scarce. The co-existence of regular-grade 10% ethanol-blended gasoline (E10) and regular-grade non-blended gasoline (E0) in a major metropolitan city allows for second degree price discrimination to be examined while eliminating the issue of endogenous product differentiation because the two blends of gasoline are near-perfect substitutes. Using a unique data set including daily price information for 402 retailers that sell only E0 gasoline, only ethanol-blended E10 gasoline, or both blends simultaneously, I find evidence that retailers use second degree price discrimination to segment the population between perceived lower and higher quality gasoline; despite the fact that both blends can safely be used in nearly all vehicles. Additionally, I uncover two elasticities of demand for gasoline and discuss the welfare effects of price changes and market segmentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Roach, Travis, 2019. "Market power and second degree price discrimination in retail gasoline markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:84:y:2019:i:c:s0140988319303032
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2019.104514
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988319303032
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.eneco.2019.104514?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Meghan Busse & Marc Rysman, 2005. "Competition and Price Discrimination in Yellow Pages Advertising," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 378-390, Summer.
    2. Clerides, Sofronis K., 2002. "Book value: intertemporal pricing and quality discrimination in the US market for books," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1385-1408, December.
    3. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-557, May.
    4. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
    5. Shepard, Andrea, 1991. "Price Discrimination and Retail Configuration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 30-53, February.
    6. Qiu, Cheng & Colson, Gregory & Wetzstein, Michael, 2014. "An ethanol blend wall shift is prone to increase petroleum gasoline demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 160-165.
    7. Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Prince, Lea, 2013. "Gasoline price volatility and the elasticity of demand for gasoline," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 111-117.
    8. Barron, John M. & Umbeck, John R. & Waddell, Glen R., 2008. "Consumer and competitor reactions: Evidence from a field experiment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 517-531, March.
    9. Phillip Leslie, 2004. "Price Discrimination in Broadway Theater," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 520-541, Autumn.
    10. Michael D. Noel & Travis Roach, 2016. "Regulated And Unregulated Substitutes: Aversion Effects Of An Ethanol Mandate," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1150-1166, April.
    11. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
    12. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    13. Barron, John M. & Taylor, Beck A. & Umbeck, John R., 2004. "Number of sellers, average prices, and price dispersion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1041-1066, November.
    14. Brons, Martijn & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric & Rietveld, Piet, 2008. "A meta-analysis of the price elasticity of gasoline demand. A SUR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2105-2122, September.
    15. Frank Verboven, 2002. "Quality-Based Price Discrimination and Tax Incidence: Evidence from Gasoline and Diesel Cars," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 275-297, Summer.
    16. 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.
    17. Sofronis K. Clerides, 2004. "Price Discrimination with Differentiated Products: Definition and Identification," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(3), pages 402-412, July.
    18. Severin Borenstein, 1991. "Selling Costs and Switching Costs: Explaining Retail Gasoline Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 354-369, Autumn.
    19. Setiawan, Winardi & Sperling, Daniel, 1993. "Premium Gasoline Overbuying in the U.S.: Consumer-Based Choice Analysis," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2v86h1sp, University of California Transportation Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 2221-2299, Elsevier.
    2. Cohen, Andrew, 2008. "Package size and price discrimination in the paper towel market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 502-516, March.
    3. Stephen Davies, Catherine Waddams Price, and Chris M. Wilson, 2014. "Nonlinear Pricing and Tariff Differentiation: Evidence from the British Electricity Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    4. Haizhen Lin & Isabelle Yijia Wang, 2015. "Competition and Price Discrimination: Evidence from the Parking Garage Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 522-548, September.
    5. Julie Holland Mortimer, 2005. "Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence from the Introduction of DVDs," NBER Working Papers 11676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bonatti, Alessandro, 2011. "Brand-specific tastes for quality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 562-575, September.
    7. Diego Escobari & Manuel A. Hernandez, 2019. "Separating Between Unobserved Consumer Types: Evidence From Airlines," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(2), pages 1215-1230, April.
    8. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2015. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107687899.
    9. Crawford, Gregory S & Shum, Matthew, 2007. "Monopoly Quality Degradation and Regulation in Cable Television," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 181-219, February.
    10. Ambarish Chandra, 2020. "Price Discrimination along Multiple Dimensions: New Evidence from a Regional Airline," Working Papers tecipa-676, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    11. Crawford, Gregory S. & Shcherbakov, Oleksandr & Shum, Matthew, 2015. "The Welfare Effects of Endogenous Quality Choice in Cable Television Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Fabian Herweg, 2012. "Relaxing competition through quality differentiation and price discrimination," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 106(1), pages 1-26, May.
    13. Marco Cornia & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2012. "Price Dispersion Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from the Airline Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 347-373, September.
    14. Song Lin, 2017. "Add-on Policies Under Vertical Differentiation: Why Do Luxury Hotels Charge for Internet While Economy Hotels Do Not?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(4), pages 610-625, July.
    15. Haizhen Lin & Yijia Wang, 2012. "Competition and Price Discrimination in the Parking Garage Industry," Working Papers 2012-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    16. Michael D. Noel, 2019. "Calendar synchronization of gasoline price increases," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 355-370, April.
    17. Courty, Pascal & Pagliero, Mario, 2012. "The Pricing of Art and the Art of Pricing: Pricing Styles in the Concert Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 8967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Clerides, Sofronis K., 2002. "Book value: intertemporal pricing and quality discrimination in the US market for books," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1385-1408, December.
    19. Fabra, Natalia & Montero, Juan Pablo, 2017. "Product Choice and Price Discrimination in Markets with Search Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 12046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Jian Shen & Huanxing Yang & Lixin Ye, 2016. "Competitive Nonlinear Pricing and Contract Variety," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 64-108, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price discrimination; Gasoline; Ethanol; Renewable Fuel Standard;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:84:y:2019:i:c:s0140988319303032. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.