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Gasoline prices jump up on Mondays: An outcome of aggressive competition?

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  • Foros, Øystein
  • Steen, Frode

Abstract

This paper examines Norwegian gasoline pump prices using daily station-specific observations from March 2003 to March 2006. Whereas studies that have analyzed similar price cycles in other countries find support for the Edgeworth cycle theory (Maskin and Tirole, 1988), we demonstrate that Norwegian gasoline price cycles involve a form of coordinated behavior. We also show that gasoline prices follow a fixed weekly pattern, with prices increasing significantly every Monday at noon, and that gasoline companies appear to use the recommended price as a coordination device with a fixed link between the retail and recommended prices. Moreover, the weekly pattern changed in April 2004; whereas Thursday had been the high-price day, Monday now became the high-price day. The price–cost margin also increased significantly after the weekly pattern changed in April 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Foros, Øystein & Steen, Frode, 2008. "Gasoline prices jump up on Mondays: An outcome of aggressive competition?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6783
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oystein Foros & Frode Steen, 2008. "Gasoline Prices Jump Up on Mondays: An Outcome of Aggressive Competition?," Working Papers 08-20, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
    2. Miguel A. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2013. "Excess Capacity and Pricing in Bertrand-Edgeworth Markets: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(2), pages 199-228, June.
    3. Perdiguero, Jordi & Jiménez, Juan Luis, 2021. "Price coordination in the Spanish oil market: The monday effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    4. Noel, Michael D., 2015. "Do Edgeworth price cycles lead to higher or lower prices?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 81-93.
    5. Nicolas de Roos & Vladimir Smirnov, 2020. "Collusion with intertemporal price dispersion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(1), pages 158-188, March.
    6. Anderson, Edward, 2011. "A new model for cycles in retail petrol prices," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 436-447, April.
    7. Dewenter, Ralf & Linder, Melissa & Schwalbe, Ulrich, 2017. "Preiszyklen im Kraftstoffmarkt - Wettbewerb oder Kollusives Verhalten?," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168246, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Nicolas de Roos & Hajime Katayama, 2013. "Gasoline Price Cycles Under Discrete Time Pricing," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(285), pages 175-193, June.
    9. Noel, Michael D., 2012. "Edgeworth Price Cycles and intertemporal price discrimination," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 942-954.
    10. David P. Byrne, 2012. "Petrol Price Cycles," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 45(4), pages 497-506, December.
    11. Siekmann, Manuel, 2017. "Characteristics, causes, and price effects: Empirical evidence of intraday Edgeworth cycles," DICE Discussion Papers 252, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    12. Riemer P. Faber & Maarten C.W. Janssen, 2008. "On the Effects of Suggested Prices in Gasoline Markets," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-116/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gasoline; intertemporal price discrimination; price coordination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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