Gasoline Pricing in the Country and the City

36 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015 Last revised: 22 Nov 2017

David P. Byrne

The University of Melbourne

Date Written: November 22, 2017


In many markets, prices adjust quickly when costs rise, yet adjust sluggishly when costs fall. Such asymmetric pricing has received particular attention in retail gasoline where, worryingly, larger asymmetry has been related to greater market power. Using novel data from urban and rural gasoline markets, I document new evidence on this relationship by providing the first estimates of asymmetric pricing from rural towns. I find substantial asymmetry in these markets, show local market concentration is positively related to asymmetry, and highlight the role collusion potentially plays in generating these patterns.

Keywords: Asymmetric Pricing, Retail Gasoline, Sticky Pricing, Cost-based Pricing

JEL Classification: L11, L9, D22

Suggested Citation

Byrne, David P., Gasoline Pricing in the Country and the City (November 22, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

David P. Byrne (Contact Author)

The University of Melbourne ( email )

Level 4
111 Barry Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3010

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