Gasoline Price Cycles Under Discrete Time Pricing
26 Pages Posted: 1 May 2010 Last revised: 16 Jun 2012
Date Written: March 29, 2010
We characterise petrol pricing dynamics in an unusual policy environment. A timing restriction in the Western Australian market imposes discrete time pricing on petrol retailers, enabling us to observe the exact timing of price changes. We employ a Markov switching regression model, finding the existence of Edgeworth price cycles of a similar nature to those recently observed in some other retail petrol markets. Cycles are frequent, asymmetric, and of substantial amplitude. Importantly, firms change prices almost every period, limiting the relevance of the leading theory of Edgeworth cycles due to Maskin and Tirole (1988). We also discuss episodes of disruption and evolution of the price cycle.
Keywords: price cycles, markov-switching, petroleum
JEL Classification: L13, L41, L81
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation