Calendar synchronization of gasoline price increases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In many retail gasoline markets with Edgeworth price cycles, large and regular price increases occur on the same day of the week every week, that is, they are calendar synchronized. In this article, I test whether calendar synchronization leads to higher or lower consumer expenditures on gasoline compared to a world with cycles but without calendar synchronization. On one hand, firms may attempt to trigger price increases just prior to periods of normally high demand. On the other, consumers may be better able to predict and shift purchases to low price days of the cycle. Using high-frequency gasoline volume data and matching it to high-frequency price data, I find that the latter effect dominates. All else equal, consumer expenditures on gasoline fall with calendar synchronization in the study markets. I also calculate intertemporal price elasticities and find them to be high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-370
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Economics and Management Strategy
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • Edgeworth price cycles
  • calendar effects
  • dynamic oligopoly
  • prediction
  • quantity-weighting
  • retail gasoline

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