IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/icr/wpicer/16-2001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Political constraints on government cartelization: the case of oil production regulation in Texas and Saudi Arabia

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Libecap
  • James L. Smith

Abstract

We examine government cartelization efforts in crude oil production. Texas and Saudi Arabia are alleged to act as swing producers to maintain the interstate (1933-1972) and OPEC (1973 on) oil cartels respectively. We analyze the political constraints that affected the ability of Texas and Saudi Arabia to act as residual producers within their respective cartels. In the case of Texas, political factors molded individual firm production quotas, advantaging high-cost producers and hence, reducing total cartel net profits. Further, Texas had limited range for adjusting total state production to maintain interstate output at levels consistent with target prices. Saudi Arabia’s role as swing producer within OPEC raises similar questions regarding how cartel output is shared among members, and the extent to which domestic economic and political pressures coming from various member countries may undermine the effectiveness of the cartel. OPEC ‘s coordination problem has been more difficult than that faced by the interstate cartel for a variety of reasons that we explore. Even so, they have not kept the OPEC members in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, from exerting a strong influence on the level of world oil prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Libecap & James L. Smith, 2001. "Political constraints on government cartelization: the case of oil production regulation in Texas and Saudi Arabia," ICER Working Papers 16-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:16-2001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.biblioecon.unito.it/biblioservizi/RePEc/icr/wp2001/Libecap16-01.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexander, Barbara J., 1997. "Failed Cooperation in Heterogeneous Industries Under the National Recovery Administration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(02), pages 322-344, June.
    2. Wiggins, Steven N & Libecap, Gary D, 1987. "Firm Heterogeneities and Cartelization Efforts in Domestic Crude Oil," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
    3. Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
    4. Moran, Theodore H., 1981. "Modeling OPEC behavior: economic and political alternatives," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(02), pages 241-272, March.
    5. Libecap, Gary D & Wiggins, Steven N, 1984. "Contractual Responses to the Common Pool: Prorationing of Crude Oil Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 87-98, March.
    6. Alexander, Barbara & Libecap, Gary D., 2000. "The Effect of Cost Heterogeneity in the Success and Failure of the New Deal's Agricultural and Industrial Programs," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 370-400, October.
    7. Griffin, James M, 1985. "OPEC Behavior: A Test of Alternative Hypotheses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 954-963, December.
    8. Gately, Dermot, 1984. "A Ten-Year Retrospective: OPEC and the World Oil Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 1100-1114, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:16-2001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simone Pellegrino). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/icerrit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.