Do Retail Petrol Prices Rise More Rapidly Than They Fall in Australia’s Capital Cities?
This paper examines the long-run and short-run determinants of unleaded petrol prices in Australia’s capital cities using monthly data to test whether prices respond asymmetrically to external shocks. In the long-run petrol prices are mainly determined by the Tapis crude oil and Singapore petrol prices. There is some evidence of asymmetric price adjustments in the short-run since petrol price increases have been mostly passed on to the consumer faster than price decreases in four capital cities. One can thus argue that there are a significant degree of market inefficiency and/or collusion, requiring closer government price monitoring and scrutiny.
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