IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v37y2009i1p219-228.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Competition, regulation, and pricing behaviour in the Spanish retail gasoline market

Author

Listed:
  • Contín-Pilart, Ignacio
  • Correljé, Aad F.
  • Blanca Palacios, M.

Abstract

The restructuring of the Spanish oil industry produced a highly concentrated oligopoly in the retail gasoline market. In June 1990, the Spanish government introduced a system of ceiling price regulation in order to ensure that "liberalization" was accompanied by adequate consumer protection. By 1998, prices were left to the "free" market. This paper examines the pricing behaviour of the retail gasoline market using multivariate error correction models over the period January 1993 (abolishment of the state monopoly)-December 2004. The results suggest that gasoline retail prices respond symmetrically to increases as well as to decreases in the spot price of gasoline both over the period of price regulation (January 1993-September 1998) and over the period of free market (October 1998-December 2004). However, once the ceiling price regulation was abolished, cooperation emerged between the government and the major operators, Repsol-YPF and Cepsa-Elf, to control the inflation rate. This resulted in a slower rate of adjustment of gasoline retail prices when gasoline spot prices went up, as compared with the European pattern. Finally, the Spanish retail margin was by the end of our timing period of analysis, as in the starting years after the abolishment of the state monopoly, above the European average. This pattern confirms our political economic hypothesis, which suggests that the Spanish government and the oil companies were working together in reducing the inflation, in periods of rising oil and gasoline prices. It is also inferred that explaining the pricing pattern in energy markets may require different hypothesis than the classical perspective, involving just firms taking advantage of market power.

Suggested Citation

  • Contín-Pilart, Ignacio & Correljé, Aad F. & Blanca Palacios, M., 2009. "Competition, regulation, and pricing behaviour in the Spanish retail gasoline market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 219-228, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:219-228
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301-4215(08)00417-5
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 1998. "Petrol price asymmetries revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-308, June.
    2. Galeotti, Marzio & Lanza, Alessandro & Manera, Matteo, 2003. "Rockets and feathers revisited: an international comparison on European gasoline markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 175-190, March.
    3. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    4. Bello, Alejandro & Cavero, Sandra, 2008. "The Spanish retail petroleum market: New patterns of competition since the liberalization of the industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 612-626, February.
    5. Severin Borenstein & Andrea Shepard, 2002. "Sticky Prices, Inventories, and Market Power in Wholesale Gasoline Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(1), pages 116-139, Spring.
    6. Godby, Rob & Lintner, Anastasia M. & Stengos, Thanasis & Wandschneider, Bo, 2000. "Testing for asymmetric pricing in the Canadian retail gasoline market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 349-368, June.
    7. Lance J. Bachmeier & James M. Griffin, 2003. "New Evidence on Asymmetric Gasoline Price Responses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 772-776, August.
    8. Granger, C W J & Lee, T H, 1989. "Investigation of Production, Sales and Inventory Relationships Using Multicointegration and Non-symmetric Error Correction Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages 145-159, Supplemen.
    9. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1993. "A Simple Estimator of Cointegrating Vectors in Higher Order Integrated Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 783-820, July.
    10. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Laskowski, Cheryl, 2005. "Causes for an asymmetric relation between the price of crude oil and refined petroleum products," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1587-1596, August.
    11. Bettendorf, Leon & van der Geest, Stephanie A. & Varkevisser, Marco, 2003. "Price asymmetry in the Dutch retail gasoline market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 669-689, November.
    12. Grasso, Margherita & Manera, Matteo, 2007. "Asymmetric error correction models for the oil-gasoline price relationship," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 156-177, January.
    13. Ronald Johnson, 2002. "Search Costs, Lags and Prices at the Pump," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(1), pages 33-50, February.
    14. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
    15. Nathan S. Balke & Stephen P. A. Brown & Mine Yücel, 1998. "Crude oil and gasoline prices: an asymmetric relationship?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q 1, pages 2-11.
    16. MacKinnon, James G, 1996. "Numerical Distribution Functions for Unit Root and Cointegration Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 601-618, Nov.-Dec..
    17. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Kubler, Knut, 1992. "Symmetric or asymmetric price adjustments in the oil market : An empirical analysis of the relations between international and domestic prices in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1972-1989," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 171-185, July.
    18. Severin Borenstein & A. Colin Cameron & Richard Gilbert, 1997. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 305-339.
    19. Andrew Eckert, 2002. "Retail price cycles and response asymmetry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 52-77, February.
    20. Ignacio Contin & Aad Correlje & Emilio Huerta, 1999. "The Spanish Gasoline Market: From Ceiling Regulation to Open Market Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-14.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Polemis, Michael L. & Fotis, Panagiotis N., 2014. "The taxation effect on gasoline price asymmetry nexus: Evidence from both sides of the Atlantic," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 225-233.
    2. Alberto Bagnai & Christian Alexander Mongeau Ospina, 2016. "Price asymmetries in the European gasoline market," a/ Working Papers Series 1602, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    3. Balaguer, Jacint & Ripollés, Jordi, 2016. "Asymmetric fuel price responses under heterogeneity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 281-290.
    4. Bello, Alejandro & Contín-Pilart, Ignacio, 2012. "Taxes, cost and demand shifters as determinants in the regional gasoline price formation process: Evidence from Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 439-448.
    5. Perdiguero-García, Jordi, 2013. "Symmetric or asymmetric oil prices? A meta-analysis approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 389-397.
    6. Perdiguero García, Jordi, 2010. "Dynamic pricing in the spanish gasoline market: A tacit collusion equilibrium," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1931-1937, April.
    7. Balaguer, Jacint & Ripollés, Jordi, 2012. "Testing for price response asymmetries in the Spanish fuel market. New evidence from daily data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2066-2071.
    8. Bremmer, Dale S. & Kesselring, Randall G., 2016. "The relationship between U.S. retail gasoline and crude oil prices during the Great Recession: “Rockets and feathers” or “balloons and rocks” behavior?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 200-210.
    9. Aad Correljé & Lucia van Geuns, 2011. "The Oil Industry: A Dynamic Patchwork of Approaches?," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Network Industries, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Suvankulov, Farrukh & Lau, Marco Chi Keung & Ogucu, Fatma, 2012. "Price regulation and relative price convergence: Evidence from the retail gasoline market in Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 325-334.

    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:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:219-228. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    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 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.

    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.