Petroleum Price Elasticity, Income Effects, and OPEC's Pricing Policy
F. Gerard Adams and
The Energy Journal, 1984, vol. Volume 5, issue Number 1, 115-128
A standard result from static economic theory is that a monopolist with zero cost will maximize profits by charging the price at which the demand has unit elasticity. Yet, the demand for petroleum, as seen by consumers, is price inelastic, and empirical estimates of the price elasticity for petroleum are typically less than one. Given the relatively low production cost for Middle East oil and the optimization rule referred to above, a natural question is whether OPEC, acting as a monopoly, has exhausted its potential for forcing price increases or whether it will ultimately be able to charge still higher prices as it tries to optimize its earnings. This possibility of higher oil prices is important for OPEC and for oil-consuming countries-for OPEC because the finite nature of resources implies that excess production today represents an irrecoverable loss; for consuming countries because of the high cost of oil and the adverse consequences of still higher oil prices on inflation and unemployment.
JEL-codes: F0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to IAEE members and subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aen:journl:1984v05-01-a07
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in The Energy Journal from International Association for Energy Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by David Williams ().