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Retail Gasoline Price Cycles across Spatially Dispersed Gasoline Stations

  • Eckert, Andrew
  • West, Douglas S

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.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/380474
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 47 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 245-73

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:245-73
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. 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 1033-60, October.
  2. 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.
  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. Andrew Eckert, 2002. "Retail price cycles and response asymmetry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 52-77, February.
  5. Castanias, Rick & Johnson, Herb, 1993. "Gas Wars: Retail Gasoline Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 171-74, February.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 571-99, May.
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