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The Effect of Market Isolation on Competitive Behavior in Retail Petrol Markets

Arezoo Ghazanfari () and Armin Razmjoo ()
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Arezoo Ghazanfari: School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Armin Razmjoo: Escola Técnica Superior dÉnginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB), Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (UPC), Av. Diagonal, 647, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 13, 1-33

Abstract: Regarding the importance of energy for societies, this study examines the characteristics of the petrol price cycle in Perth, Australia. Given the micro-and macro-economic changes, the study’s purpose was to determine whether the Edgeworth features of the cycle are robust and resilient to market changes. The contribution is to extend previous studies, evaluate Edgeworth’s consistency, and capture several episodes of economic activity that have been unexplored. The findings showed a frequent and asymmetric weekly cycle that is characterized by decreasing prices over six consecutive days, followed by a large price jump in one day. The average price rise in the relenting phase for major stations was 14.10 cents per liter (CPL) and 13.14 CPL for independents. For the major and independents, the daily average price drops in the undercutting phase were 2.25 and 1.92 CPL, respectively. Despite the market changes, Edgeworth’s cycle characteristics, cycle duration, and the stations’ role have remained stable during the last 15 years, but peak and trough days have changed. The study is crucial as it provides insights into the robustness of price cycles and competition during significant downturns and prolonged periods of growth. This analysis is critical from a regulatory, policy, and consumer welfare perspective. Furthermore, this paper investigates future petrol consumption in light of renewable energy developments.

Keywords: unleaded petrol; retail price; Markov switching models; renewable energy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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