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Retail Gasoline Price Cycles across Spatially Dispersed Gasoline Stations

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  • Eckert, Andrew
  • West, Douglas S

Abstract

Studies of volatility in retail gasoline prices have used either weekly averages of the prices at a small subset of stations in a city or daily observations on prices at a small number of stations. This paper uses daily observations on station-specific prices within a large Canadian metropolitan area to address whether weekly average prices or prices for a small number of stations provide an accurate description of pricing in a market with volatility. This paper considers whether researchers using restricted data can draw meaningful conclusions about the appropriate theoretical model and the policy response to allegations of anticompetitive behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckert, Andrew & West, Douglas S, 2004. "Retail Gasoline Price Cycles across Spatially Dispersed Gasoline Stations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 245-273, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:245-73
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/380474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-599, May.
    2. Eckert, Andrew, 2003. "Retail price cycles and the presence of small firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 151-170, February.
    3. Sen, Anindya, 2003. "Higher prices at Canadian gas pumps: international crude oil prices or local market concentration? An empirical investigation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 269-288, May.
    4. Godby, Rob & Lintner, Anastasia M. & Stengos, Thanasis & Wandschneider, Bo, 2000. "Testing for asymmetric pricing in the Canadian retail gasoline market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 349-368, June.
    5. Castanias, Rick & Johnson, Herb, 1993. "Gas Wars: Retail Gasoline Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 171-174, February.
    6. Marvel, Howard P, 1976. "The Economics of Information and Retail Gasoline Price Behavior: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 1033-1060, October.
    7. John Conlisk & Eitan Gerstner & Joel Sobel, 1984. "Cyclic Pricing by a Durable Goods Monopolist," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 489-505.
    8. Andrew Eckert, 2002. "Retail price cycles and response asymmetry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 52-77, February.
    9. Margaret E. Slade, 1992. "Vancouver's Gasoline-Price Wars: An Empirical Exercise in Uncovering Supergame Strategies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 257-276.
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