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Testing for Market Power under the Two-Price System in the U.S. Copper Industry



Before 1978, most of the U.S. domestic copper production and an important fraction of the imports were traded at a price set by the major U.S. producers. Simultaneously, the rest of the world was trading copper at prices determined in auction markets. This two-price system ended in 1978, when the largest U.S. producers began using the Comex price of refined copper as a benchmark for setting their prices. Using this regime shift I test empirically the competitive behavior of the US copper industry before 1978. The results show that copper prices were close to the ones predicted by a competitive model of the industry.

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  • Claudio Agostini, 2005. "Testing for Market Power under the Two-Price System in the U.S. Copper Industry," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv159, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  • Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv159

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Patricia T. Foley & Joel P. Clark, 1982. "The Effects of State Taxation on United States Copper Supply," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(2), pages 153-180.
    2. Margaret E. Slade, 1991. "Strategic Pricing with Customer Rationing: The Case of Primary Metals," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 70-100, February.
    3. James G. MacKinnon & Nancy D. Olewiler, 1980. "Disequilibrium Estimation of the Demand for Copper," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 197-211, Spring.
    4. Vives, Xavier, 1986. "Rationing rules and Bertrand-Edgeworth equilibria in large markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 113-116.
    5. Vial, Joaquin, 1992. "Copper consumption in the USA: Main determinants and structural changes," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 107-121, June.
    6. Hubbard, R Glenn & Weiner, Robert J, 1989. "Contracting and Price Adjustment in Commodity Markets: Evidence from Copper and Oil," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 80-89, February.
    7. Hart, Sergiu & Kurz, Mordecai, 1983. "Endogenous Formation of Coalitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1047-1064, July.
    8. Stewardson, B R, 1970. "The Nature of Competition in the World Market for Refined Copper," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 46(114), pages 169-181, June.
    9. E. C. Hwa, 1979. "Price Determination in Several International Primary Commodity Markets: A Structural Analysis (La détermination des prix sur plusieurs marchés internationaux de produits primaires de base: Analyse s," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(1), pages 157-188, March.
    10. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
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    More about this item


    Copper Industry; Market Power;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources

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