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


  • Vita, Michael G


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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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shmuel S. Oren, 1997. "Economic Inefficiency of Passive Transmission Rights in Congested Electricity Systems with Competitive Generation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 63-83.
    2. Joskow, Paul L & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Transmission Rights and Market Power on Electric Power Networks I: Financial Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 2093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Cardell, Judith B. & Hitt, Carrie Cullen & Hogan, William W., 1997. "Market power and strategic interaction in electricity networks," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 109-137, March.
    4. Steven Stoft, 1999. "Financial Transmission Rights Meet Cournot: How TCCs Curb Market Power," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-23.
    5. Bushnell, James B & Stoft, Steven E, 1996. "Electric Grid Investment under a Contract Network Regime," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 61-79, July.
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