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Do gasoline prices converge in a unified Europe with non-harmonized tax rates?

The paper presents univariate and panel unit root tests for gasoline and oil price convergence over the last decade. We test for the absolute versus relative version of the law of one price (LOOP) and estimate the speed of convergence as well as its development over time. Our results show that the absolute version of the LOOP cannot be supported. Constant price differences between countries remain, caused mainly by existing tax differences. The relative version of the LOOP is strongly supported by the data. The speed of convergence increased over time, but differs for gross and net-of-tax prices. We can show that national tax policy by EU member states is not (yet) threatened by arbitrage due to cross-border shopping.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 05-114.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:05-114
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  1. Marcus Asplund & Richard Friberg, 2001. "The Law of One Price in Scandinavian Duty-Free Stores," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1072-1083, September.
  2. Dreher, Axel, 2006. "The influence of globalization on taxes and social policy: An empirical analysis for OECD countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 179-201, March.
  3. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  4. Parsley, David C & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-36, November.
  5. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 1997. "The Behaviour of Real Exchange Rates During the Post-Bretton Woods Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 1730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  7. Campbell, J.Y. & Perron, P., 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomics should know about unit roots," Papers 360, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  8. O'Connell, Paul G. J. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2002. ""The bigger they are, the harder they fall": Retail price differences across U.S. cities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 21-53, January.
  9. Goldberg, Pinelopi & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "Market Integration and Convergence to the Law of One Price: Evidence from the European Car Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2926, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Michael Keen & David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Pareto Efficiency in International Taxation," Public Economics 0112003, EconWPA.
  11. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark & Robert J. Sonora, 2002. "Price Index Convergence Among United States Cities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1081-1099, November.
  12. Michiel Evers & Herman R. J. Vollebergh & Ruud A. de Mooij, 2004. "Tax Competition under Minimum Rates: The Case of European Diesel Excises," CESifo Working Paper Series 1221, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Stephen P. A. Brown & Mine K. Yücel, 2000. "Gasoline and crude oil prices: why the asymmetry?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q3, pages 23-29.
  14. Banfi, Silvia & Filippini, Massimo & Hunt, Lester C., 2005. "Fuel tourism in border regions: The case of Switzerland," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 689-707, September.
  15. Bentzen, Jan, 2003. "An empirical analysis of gasoline price convergence for 20 OECD countries," Working Papers 03-19, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  16. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  17. Papell, David H., 1997. "Searching for stationarity: Purchasing power parity under the current float," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 313-332, November.
  18. Ng, S. & Perron, P., 1994. "Unit Root Tests ARMA Models with Data Dependent Methods for the Selection of the Truncation Lag," Cahiers de recherche 9423, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  19. repec:dgr:uvatin:20040062 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Nathan S. Balke & Stephen P. A. Brown & Mine Yücel, 1998. "Crude oil and gasoline prices: an asymmetric relationship?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q 1, pages 2-11.
  21. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
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