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Crude oil and gasoline prices: an asymmetric relationship?


  • Nathan S. Balke
  • Stephen P. A. Brown
  • Mine Yücel


Gasoline is the petroleum product whose price is most visible and, therefore, always under public scrutiny. Many claim there is an asymmetric relationship between gasoline and oil prices - specifically, gasoline price changes follow oil price changes more quickly when oil prices are rising than when they are falling. To explore this issue, Nathan Balke, Stephen Brown and Mine Yucel use several different model specifications to analyze the relationship between oil prices and the spot, wholesale, and retail prices of gasoline. They find asymmetry is sensitive to model specification but is pervasive with the most general model.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1998:i:q1:p:2-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Neumark & Steven A. Sharpe, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-680.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Jeffrey D. Karrenbrock, 1991. "The behavior of retail gasoline prices: symmetric or not?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 19-29.
    6. Samarendu Mohanty & E. Wesley F. Peterson & Nancy Cottrell Kruse, 1995. "Price Asymmetry in the International Wheat Market," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 43(3), pages 355-366, November.
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    Petroleum industry and trade ; Prices;


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