Monday, February 25, 2013
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Andrew Eckert, University of Alberta - Department of Economics describes Empirical Studies of Gasoline Retailing: A Guide to the Literature.
ABSTRACT: This paper surveys the empirical literature on gasoline retailing, which has been growing rapidly over the last three decades, possibly in response to antitrust and regulatory concerns and increased availability of pricing data. Studies of both pricing and non‐price decision variables are considered. In general, it is found that crude oil prices are the primary driver of national price movements over time. However, market structure has been identified as playing a role in price dynamics, equilibrium selection and price differentials across markets and stations. The economic literature emphasizes the importance of heterogeneity across stations and coordination problems faced by retailers. Several directions for future work are suggested, including the development of theory and demand estimation using high‐frequency station level data.