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The Speed of Gasoline Price Response in Markets With and Without Edgeworth Cycles

  • Lewis, Matt
  • Noel, Michael

Retail gasoline prices are known to respond fairly slowly to wholesale price changes. This does not appear to be true for markets with Edgeworth price cycles. Recently, many retail gasoline markets in the midwestern U.S. and in other countries have been shown to exhibit price cycles, in which competition generates rapid cyclical retail price movements. We show that cost changes in cycling markets are passed on 2 to 3 times faster than in markets without cycles. We argue that the constant price movement inherent within the Edgeworth cycle eliminates price frictions and allows firms to pass on cost fluctuations more easily.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt8j36j1s1.

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Date of creation: 03 Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt8j36j1s1
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  1. Matthew S. Lewis, 2011. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Consumer Search: An Examination of the Retail Gasoline Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 409-449, 06.
  2. Doyle, Joseph & Muehlegger, Erich & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2010. "Edgeworth cycles revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 651-660, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Severin Borenstein & A. Colin Cameron, 1992. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," NBER Working Papers 4138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George Deltas, 2008. "RETAIL GASOLINE PRICE DYNAMICS AND LOCAL MARKET POWER -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 613-628, 09.
  6. Zhongmin Wang, 2008. "Collusive Communication and Pricing Coordination in a Retail Gasoline Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 35-52, February.
  7. Lance J. Bachmeier & James M. Griffin, 2003. "New Evidence on Asymmetric Gasoline Price Responses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 772-776, August.
  8. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "Edgeworth Price Cycles, Cost-Based Pricing, and Sticky Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 324-334, May.
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