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High Frequency Evidence on the Demand for Gasoline

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  • Laurence Levin
  • Matthew S. Lewis
  • Frank A. Wolak

Abstract

Daily city-level expenditures and prices are used to estimate the price responsiveness of gasoline demand in the U.S. Using a frequency of purchase model that explicitly acknowledges the distinction between gasoline demand and gasoline expenditures, we consistently find the price elasticity of demand to be an order of magnitude larger than estimates from recent studies using more aggregated data. We demonstrate directly that higher levels of spatial and temporal aggregation generate increasingly inelastic demand estimates, and then perform a decomposition to examine the relative importance of several different sources of bias likely to arise in more aggregated studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence Levin & Matthew S. Lewis & Frank A. Wolak, 2016. "High Frequency Evidence on the Demand for Gasoline," NBER Working Papers 22345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22345
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Coglianese & Lucas W. Davis & Lutz Kilian & James H. Stock, 2017. "Anticipation, Tax Avoidance, and the Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(1), pages 1-15, January.
    2. Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2007. "Revisiting the Income Effect: Gasoline Prices and Grocery Purchases," NBER Working Papers 13614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rivers, Nicholas & Schaufele, Brandon, 2015. "Salience of carbon taxes in the gasoline market," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 23-36.
    4. Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Prince, Lea, 2013. "Gasoline price volatility and the elasticity of demand for gasoline," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 111-117.
    5. Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2008. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 113-134.
    6. Brons, Martijn & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric & Rietveld, Piet, 2008. "A meta-analysis of the price elasticity of gasoline demand. A SUR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2105-2122, September.
    7. Hsing, Yu, 1990. "On the variable elasticity of the demand for gasoline : The case of the USA," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 132-136, April.
    8. Park, Sung Y. & Zhao, Guochang, 2010. "An estimation of U.S. gasoline demand: A smooth time-varying cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 110-120, January.
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    1. repec:eee:eneeco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:454-465 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecolet:v:162:y:2018:i:c:p:1-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:160:y:2018:i:c:p:14-32 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kellogg, Ryan, 2018. "Gasoline price uncertainty and the design of fuel economy standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 14-32.
    5. Michael Gelman & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Shachar Kariv & Dmitri Koustas & Matthew D. Shapiro & Dan Silverman & Steven Tadelis, 2016. "The Response of Consumer Spending to Changes in Gasoline Prices," NBER Working Papers 22969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General

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