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Price Responses to Seasonal Demand Changes in the Swedish Gasoline Market

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Abstract

The demand for gasoline in Sweden follows a seasonal cycle. The paper investigates the response in prices and profits over the cycle. In contrast to what has been found for the gasoline market in the United States, we find no support for seasonal price changes compatible with the theories for cyclical variations of intensity of competition. We also investigate whether the effects on margins of the demand fluctuations induced by tax increases are compatible with these theories and find this not to be the case. Some possible explanations for this difference between Sweden and the United States are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Eriksson, Rickard, 2001. "Price Responses to Seasonal Demand Changes in the Swedish Gasoline Market," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 473, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 20 Dec 2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0473
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    File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0473.pdf
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    1. Severin Boreinstein & Andrea Shepard, 1996. "Dynamic Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 429-451, Autumn.
    2. John Haltiwanger & Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1991. "The Impact of Cyclical Demand Movements on Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 89-106, Spring.
    3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert Staiger, 1997. "Collusion Over the Business Cycle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 82-106, Spring.
    4. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
    5. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    6. Michihiro Kandori, 1991. "Correlated Demand Shocks and Price Wars During Booms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 171-180.
    7. Severin Borenstein & A. Colin Cameron & Richard Gilbert, 1997. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 305-339.
    8. Rosenbaum, David I. & Sukharomana, Supachat, 2001. "Oligopolistic pricing over the deterministic market demand cycle: some evidence from the US Portland cement industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 863-884, May.
    9. Asplund, Marcus & Eriksson, Rickard & Friberg, Richard, 2000. " Price Adjustments by a Gasoline Retail Chain," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 101-121, March.
    10. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
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    Keywords

    Seasonal cycles; gasoline market;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels

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