IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The market power of OPEC 1973-2001




We apply a multi-equation dynamic econometric model on monthly data to test if the behaviour of OPEC as a whole or different sub-groups of the cartel is consistent with the characteristics of dominant producers on the world crude oil market in the period 1973-2001. Our results indicate that the producers outside OPEC can be described as competitive producers, taking the oil price as given and maximising profits. The OPEC members do not fit the behaviour of price-taking producers. Our findings of low residual demand price elasticities for OPEC underpin the potential market power of the producer group, and are in line with the results in some recent energy studies. On the other hand, our findings indicate that neither OPEC nor different sub-groups of the cartel can be characterised as a dominant producer in the period 1973-1994. However, we find that the characteristics of a dominant producer to some extent fit OPEC-Core as from 1994. Thus, although OPEC clearly has affected the market price, the producer group has not behaved as a pure profitmaximising dominant producer.

Suggested Citation

  • Petter Vegard Hansen & Lars Lindholt, 2004. "The market power of OPEC 1973-2001," Discussion Papers 385, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:385

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krichene, Noureddine, 2002. "World crude oil and natural gas: a demand and supply model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 557-576, November.
    2. Carol Dahl & Mine Yucel, 1991. "Testing Alternative Hypotheses of Oil Producer Behavior," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 117-138.
    3. Prokop, Jacek, 1999. "Process of dominant-cartel formation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 241-257, February.
    4. Cheng Hsiao, 1997. "Cointegration and Dynamic Simultaneous Equations Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 647-670, May.
    5. Clifton T. Jones, 1990. "OPEC Behaviour Under Falling Prices: Implications For Cartel Stability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 117-130.
    6. Robert S. Pindyck, 2001. "The Dynamics of Commodity Spot and Futures Markets: A Primer," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-30.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aune, Finn Roar & Grimsrud, Kristine & Lindholt, Lars & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Storrøsten, Halvor Briseid, 2017. "Oil consumption subsidy removal in OPEC and other Non-OECD countries: Oil market impacts and welfare effects," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 395-409.
    2. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Raeisian Parvari, Mozhgan, 2014. "Iranian-Oil-Free Zone and international oil prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 364-372.
    3. Rolf Golombek & Alfonso A. Irarrazabal & Lin Ma, 2013. "OPEC's Market Power: An Empirical Dominant Firm Model for the Oil Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 4512, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Alkhathlan, Khalid & Gately, Dermot & Javid, Muhammad, 2014. "Analysis of Saudi Arabia's behavior within OPEC and the world oil market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 209-225.
    5. Coleman, Les, 2012. "Explaining crude oil prices using fundamental measures," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 318-324.
    6. Taran Fæhn, Cathrine Hagem, Lars Lindholt, Ståle Mæland, and Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2017. "Climate policies in a fossil fuel producing country demand versus supply side policies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    7. Pål Boug & Ådne Cappelen & Anders Rygh Swensen, 2016. "Modelling OPEC behaviour. Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers 843, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Finn Roar Aune & Ann Christin Bøeng & Snorre Kverndokk & Lars Lindholt & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2017. "Fuel Efficiency Improvements: Feedback Mechanisms and Distributional Effects in the Oil Market," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 15-45, September.
    9. Karanfil, Fatih & Omgba, Luc Désiré, 2017. "Reconsidering the scarcity factor in the dynamics of oil markets: An empirical investigation of the (mis)measurement of oil reserves," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 209-218.
    10. Bharati, Rakesh & Crain, Susan J. & Kaminski, Vincent, 2012. "Clustering in crude oil prices and the target pricing zone hypothesis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1115-1123.
    11. Christoph Bohringer, Knut Einar Rosendahl, and Jan Schneider, 2014. "Unilateral Climate Policy: Can OPEC Resolve the Leakage Problem?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    12. Henk Folmer, 2009. "OPEC versus Kyoto by Henk Folmer," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(3), pages 23-29, October.
    13. Aune, Finn Roar & Mohn, Klaus & Osmundsen, Petter & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2010. "Financial market pressure, tacit collusion and oil price formation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 389-398, March.

    More about this item


    Oil market; OPEC; Market power; Equilibrium Correction Mechanism model;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:ssb:dispap:385. 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: (L Maasø). General contact details of provider: .

    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.