Asymmetric Pass-Through in U.S. Gasoline Prices
Federal Trade Commission; Johns Hopkins University
September 11, 2012
U.S. Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics Working Paper No. 302
This paper presents new evidence of asymmetric pass-through, the notion that upward cost shocks are passed through faster than downward cost shocks, in U.S. gasoline prices. Much of the extant literature comes to seemingly contradictory conclusions about the existence of an asymmetry, though the differences may be due to different aggregation (both over time and geographic markets) and the use of different price series including crude oil, wholesale, and retail gasoline prices. I utilize a large and detailed dataset to determine where evidence of a pass-through asymmetry exists, and how it depends on the aggregation and price series chosen by the researcher. Using the error correction model, I find evidence of pass-through asymmetry in the response of daily and weekly retail prices to wholesale rack price changes, though the magnitude varies by geographic market. On average, retail prices rise three to four times as fast as they fall.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: Gasoline Prices, Pass-Through
JEL Classification: L00, L71, L11
Date posted: June 25, 2010 ; Last revised: September 11, 2012
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