IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/ifwedp/201417.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Regulating gasoline retail markets: The case of Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Wittmann, Nadine

Abstract

In 2011, price peaks in retail gasoline prices caused public outrage and attracted the attention of German regulatory agencies. After having examined the market, competition authorities concluded that tacit collusion existed but could not easily be prosecuted under the given competition law. In several other countries, various types of regulatory schemes are implemented to tackle tacit collusive behavior. E.g. there are price ceilings established in Luxembourg or per day limits of price increases given in Austria. However, research has found that none of them has led to satisfactory results. Hence, the following paper proposes a different regulatory approach, i.e. the implementation of corrective taxes. Results show that a special type of variable tax scheme successfully manages to render collusion an unprofitable business. In addition, it is also easy to levy and monitor. Thereby, the inherent vice of the gasoline retail market, i.e. the transparency that enables tacit - and therefore non-prosecutable - collusion, could be turned into a regulatory virtue as it becomes a powerful means to help successfully tackle imperfect competition and to bring about a more efficient market outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Wittmann, Nadine, 2014. "Regulating gasoline retail markets: The case of Germany," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-17, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201417
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2014-17
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/95975/1/782834272.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Delipalla, Sofia & Keen, Michael, 1992. "The comparison between ad valorem and specific taxation under imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 351-367, December.
    2. Dewenter, Ralf & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2012. "Less pain at the pump? The effects of regulatory interventions in retail gasoline markets," DICE Discussion Papers 51, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    3. Nicol, C. J., 2003. "Elasticities of demand for gasoline in Canada and the United States," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 201-214, March.
    4. Polemis, Michael L. & Fotis, Panagiotis N., 2013. "Do gasoline prices respond asymmetrically in the euro zone area? Evidence from cointegrated panel data analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 425-433.
    5. Haucap, Justus & Müller, Hans Christian, 2012. "The Effects of Gasoline Price Regulations: Experimental Evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 47, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Dahl, Carol A., 2012. "Measuring global gasoline and diesel price and income elasticities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 2-13.
    7. Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2013. "Effects of Transport Regulation on the Oil Market: Does Market Power Matter?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(3), pages 662-694, July.
    8. Marc Hofstetter & Jorge Tovar, 2007. "Asymmetric Price Adjustments Under Ever-Increasing Costs. Evidence from the Retail Gasoline Market in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005146, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    9. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana & Janda, Karel, 2012. "Demand for gasoline is more price-inelastic than commonly thought," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 201-207.
    10. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "EDGEWORTH PRICE CYCLES: EVIDENCE FROM THE TORONTO RETAIL GASOLINE MARKET -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 69-92, March.
    11. Adelman, M. A., 1978. "Constraints on the world oil monopoly price," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-19, September.
    12. Zhongmin Wang, 2009. "(Mixed) Strategy in Oligopoly Pricing: Evidence from Gasoline Price Cycles Before and Under a Timing Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 987-1030, December.
    13. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-599, May.
    14. Suvankulov, Farrukh & Lau, Marco Chi Keung & Ogucu, Fatma, 2012. "Price regulation and relative price convergence: Evidence from the retail gasoline market in Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 325-334.
    15. Bettendorf, Leon & van der Geest, Stephanie A. & Varkevisser, Marco, 2003. "Price asymmetry in the Dutch retail gasoline market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 669-689, November.
    16. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-177, March.
    17. Danielsen, Albert L., 1979. "Constraints on the world oil monopoly price: A comment," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 97-100, September.
    18. Alan Kirman, 2006. "Heterogeneity in Economics," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 1(1), pages 89-117, May.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Pock, Markus, 2010. "Gasoline demand in Europe: New insights," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 54-62, January.
    22. 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.
    23. Siegfried Berninghaus & Michael Hesch & Andreas Hildenbrand, 2012. "Zur Wirkung regulatorischer Preiseingriffe auf dem Tankstellenmarkt," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;German National Library of Economics, vol. 92(1), pages 46-50, January.
    24. Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Zeng, Jieyin (Jean), 2013. "The elasticity of demand for gasoline in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 189-197.
    25. Madowitz, M. & Novan, K., 2013. "Gasoline taxes and revenue volatility: An application to California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 663-673.
    26. Ben Sita, Bernard & Marrouch, Walid & Abosedra, Salah, 2012. "Short-run price and income elasticity of gasoline demand: Evidence from Lebanon," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 109-115.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Wein, 2014. "Preventing Margin Squeeze: An Unsolvable Puzzle for Competition Policy? The Case of the German Gasoline Market," Working Paper Series in Economics 309, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gasoline retail market; regulation; market structure and antitrust; collusion;

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:zbw:ifwedp:201417. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iwkiede.html .

    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.