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Regulatory Restrictions on Vertical Integration and Control: The Competitive Impact of Gasoline Divorcement Policies

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  • Vita, Michael G

Abstract

Gasoline "divorcement" regulations restrict the integration of gasoline refiners and retailers. Theoretically, vertical integration can harm competition, making it possible that divorcement policies could increase welfare; alternatively, these policies may reduce welfare by sacrificing efficiencies. This paper attempts to differentiate between these possibilities by estimating a reduced form equation for the real retail price of unleaded regular gasoline. I find that divorcement regulations raise the price of gasoline by about 2.6% per gallon, reducing consumers' surplus by over $100 million annually. This finding suggests that current proposals to further separate gasoline retailing from refining will be harmful to gasoline consumers. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • 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 217-233, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:18:y:2000:i:3:p:217-33
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