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Pass-Through of Own and Rival Cost Shocks: Evidence from the U.S. Fracking Boom

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  • Erich Muehlegger
  • Richard L. Sweeney

Abstract

In imperfectly competitive settings, a firm's price depends on its own costs as well as those of its competitors. We demonstrate that this has important implications for the estimation and interpretation of pass-through. Leveraging a large input cost shock resulting from the fracking boom, we isolate price responses to firm-specific, regional and industry-wide input cost shocks in the US oil refining industry. The pass-through of these components vary from near zero to full pass-through, reconciling seemingly disparate results from the literature. We illustrate the policy implications of rival cost pass-through in the context of a tax on refinery carbon emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Erich Muehlegger & Richard L. Sweeney, 2017. "Pass-Through of Own and Rival Cost Shocks: Evidence from the U.S. Fracking Boom," NBER Working Papers 24025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miller, Nathan H. & Remer, Marc & Sheu, Gloria, 2013. "Using cost pass-through to calibrate demand," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 451-454.
    2. Fevrier, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2004. "Idiosyncratic shocks in an asymmetric Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 835-848, June.
    3. Berardi, N. & Sevestre, P. & Tepaut, M. & Vigneron, A., 2012. "The impact of a `soda tax' on prices. Evidence from French micro data," Working papers 415, Banque de France.
    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. Gabriel E. Lade & James Bushnell, 2019. "Fuel Subsidy Pass-Through and Market Structure: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 563-592.
    6. Gabriel E. Lade & James Bushnell, 2016. "Fuel Subsidy Pass-Through and Market Structure: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 16-wp570, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    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. Sharat Ganapati & Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2016. "Energy Cost Pass-Through in U.S. Manufacturing: Estimates and Implications for Carbon Taxes," NBER Working Papers 22281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Christopher R. Knittel & Ben S. Meiselman & James H. Stock, 2017. "The Pass-Through of RIN Prices to Wholesale and Retail Fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 1081-1119.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sharat Ganapati & Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2016. "The Incidence of Carbon Taxes in U.S. Manufacturing: Lessons from Energy Cost Pass-through," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2038R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2017.
    2. Don Fullerton & Erich Muehlegger, 2019. "Who Bears the Economic Burdens of Environmental Regulations?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(1), pages 62-82.
    3. Jonathon E. Hughes & Ian Lange, 2018. "Who (Else) Benefits from Electricity Deregulation? Coal prices, natural gas and price discrimination," Working Papers 2018-06, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    4. Catherine Hausman, 2019. "Shock Value: Bill Smoothing and Energy Price Pass‐Through," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 242-278, June.
    5. Doga Bilgin & Reinhard Ellwanger, 2019. "The Simple Economics of Global Fuel Consumption," Staff Working Papers 19-35, Bank of Canada.
    6. Burkhardt, Jesse, 2019. "The impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on US oil refineries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 429-437.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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