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Experimental gasoline markets

  • Deck, Cary A.
  • Wilson, Bart J.

Zone pricing in wholesale gasoline markets is a contentious topic in the public policy debate. With a controlled laboratory experiment, we investigate the competitive effects of zone pricing on consumers, retail stations, and refiners vis-á-vis the proposed policy prescription of uniform wholesale pricing to retailers. We also examine the issue of divorcement and the "rockets and feathers" phenomenon. The former is the legal restriction that refiners and retailers cannot be vertically integrated, and the latter is the perception that retail gasoline prices rise faster than they fall in response to random walk movements in the world price for oil.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 134-149

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:134-149
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Sam Peltzman, 1998. "Prices Rise Faster Than They Fall," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 142, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Barron, John M & Umbeck, John R, 1984. "The Effects of Different Contractual Arrangements: The Case of Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 313-28, October.
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  4. Durham, Yvonne, 2000. "An experimental examination of double marginalization and vertical relationships," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 207-229, June.
  5. Castanias, Rick & Johnson, Herb, 1993. "Gas Wars: Retail Gasoline Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 171-74, February.
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  9. 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.
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  12. Jeremy I. Bulow & Jeffrey H. Fischer & Jay S. Creswell, Jr. & Christopher T. Taylor, 2003. "U.S. Midwest Gasoline Pricing and the Spring 2000 Price Spike," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 121-149.
  13. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
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  15. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  16. Justine S. Hastings, 2004. "Vertical Relationships and Competition in Retail Gasoline Markets: Empirical Evidence from Contract Changes in Southern California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 317-328, March.
  17. Cason Timothy N. & Friedman Daniel, 2002. "A Laboratory Study of Customer Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-45, February.
  18. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett H., 2003. "Bargaining versus posted price competition in customer markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 223-251, February.
  19. Vita, Michael G, 2000. "Regulatory Restrictions on Vertical Integration and Control: The Competitive Impact of Gasoline Divorcement Policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 217-33, November.
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