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Testing for the cartel in OPEC: non-cooperative collusion or just non-cooperative?

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  • Pedro A. Almoguera
  • Christopher C. Douglas
  • Ana María Herrera

Abstract

This paper extends the framework of Green and Porter (1984) and Porter (1983a) to encompass the case of a cartel (OPEC) faced by a competitive fringe (non-OPEC oil producers). Estimation of a simultaneous equation switching regression model allows us to examine which market structure better characterizes the world oil market during the 1974--2004 period and to test whether switches between collusive and non-cooperative behaviour occurred. The null hypothesis that no switch occurred is rejected in favour of the alternative that both cooperative and non-cooperative behaviour was observed. We find that, although there were periods in which oil prices were measurably higher owing to collusion among OPEC members, overall OPEC has not been effective in systematically raising prices above Cournot competition levels. Our results suggest that, on average over the period of study, OPEC's behaviour is best described as Cournot competition in the face of a competitive fringe constituted by non-OPEC producers. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro A. Almoguera & Christopher C. Douglas & Ana María Herrera, 2011. "Testing for the cartel in OPEC: non-cooperative collusion or just non-cooperative?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 144-168, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:144-168
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oxrep/grr007
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    Cited by:

    1. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Raeisian Parvari, Mozhgan, 2014. "Iranian-Oil-Free Zone and international oil prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 364-372.
    2. Medel, Carlos, 2015. "Producers, Politicians, Warriors, and Forecasters: Who's Who in the Oil Market?," MPRA Paper 65298, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dvir, Eyal & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2014. "Demand effects and speculation in oil markets: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 113-128.
    4. repec:eee:eneeco:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:185-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Deb, Rahul & Fenske, James, 2009. "A Nonparametric Test of Strategic Behavior in the Cournot Model," MPRA Paper 16560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2013. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    7. Michele Ruta & Anthony J. Venables, 2012. "International Trade in Natural Resources: Practice and Policy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 331-352, August.
    8. Anton Nakov & Galo Nuño, 2011. "A general equilibrium model of the oil market," Working Papers 1125, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    9. Wood, Aaron D. & Mason, Charles F. & Finnoff, David, 2016. "OPEC, the Seven Sisters, and oil market dominance: An evolutionary game theory and agent-based modeling approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 66-78.
    10. Celso Brunetti, Bahattin Buyuksahin, Michel A. Robe, and Kirsten R. Soneson, 2013. "OPEC "Fair Price" Pronouncements and the Market Price of Crude Oil," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    11. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:166-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Medel, Carlos A., 2015. "Geopolitical Tensions, OPEC News, and Oil Price: A Granger Causality Analysis," MPRA Paper 65667, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. repec:eee:eneeco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:410-422 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Ansari, Dawud, 2017. "OPEC, Saudi Arabia, and the shale revolution: Insights from equilibrium modelling and oil politics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 166-178.
    15. Ritz, Robert A., 2014. "Price discrimination and limits to arbitrage: An analysis of global LNG markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 324-332.
    16. Alberto Behar & Robert A. Ritz, 2016. "OPEC vs US shale oil: Analyzing the shift to a market-share strategy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1623, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    17. Xiaoyi Mu and Haichun Ye, 2015. "Small Trends and Big Cycles in Crude Oil Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    18. Kisswani, Khalid M., 2016. "Does OPEC act as a cartel? Empirical investigation of coordination behavior," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 171-180.
    19. Pål Boug & Ådne Cappelen & Anders Rygh Swensen, 2016. "Modelling OPEC behaviour. Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers 843, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    20. Martin Bodenstein & Luca Guerrieri & Lutz Kilian, 2012. "Monetary Policy Responses to Oil Price Fluctuations," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(4), pages 470-504, December.
    21. Alberto Behar & Robert A Ritz, 2016. "An Analysis of OPEC’s Strategic Actions, US Shale Growth and the 2014 Oil Price Crash," IMF Working Papers 16/131, International Monetary Fund.

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