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Endogenous Shifts in OPEC Market Power: A Stackelberg Oligopoly with Fringe


  • Daniel Huppmann


This article proposes a two-stage oligopoly model for the crude oil market. In a game of several Stackelberg leaders, market power increases endogenously as the spare capacity of the competitive fringe goes down. This effect is due to the specific cost function characteristics of extractive industries. The model captures the increase of OPEC market power before the financial crisis and its drastic reduction in the subsequent turmoil at the onset of the global recession. The two-stage model better replicates the price path over the years 2003-2011 compared to a standard simultaneous-move, onestage Nash-Cournot model with a fringe. This article also discusses how most large-scale numerical equilibrium models, widely applied in the energy sector, over-simplify and potentially misinterpret market power exertion.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Huppmann, 2013. "Endogenous Shifts in OPEC Market Power: A Stackelberg Oligopoly with Fringe," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1313, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1313

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:166-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Huppmann, Daniel & Egging, Ruud, 2014. "Market power, fuel substitution and infrastructure – A large-scale equilibrium model of global energy markets," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 483-500.
    4. Daniel Huppmann & Franziska Holz, 2015. "What about the OPEC Cartel?," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 58, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Ibrahim Abada & Andreas Ehrenmann, 2016. "The prisoner’s dilemma in Cournot models: when endogenizing the level of competition leads to competitive behaviors," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1641, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Langer, Lissy & Huppmann, Daniel & Holz, Franziska, 2016. "Lifting the US crude oil export ban: A numerical partial equilibrium analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 258-266.
    7. repec:eee:eneeco:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:185-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Feijoo, Felipe & Huppmann, Daniel & Sakiyama, Larissa & Siddiqui, Sauleh, 2016. "North American natural gas model: Impact of cross-border trade with Mexico," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1084-1095.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.

    More about this item


    crude oil; OPEC; oligopoly; Stackelberg market; market power; consistent conjectural variations; equilibrium model;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels

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