Is the World Oil Market "One Great Pool"? A Test

Authors

  • A.E. Rodriguez
  • Mark D. Williams

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15173/esr.v5i2.302

Abstract

In a recent paper Professor Robert Weiner has argued that crude oil markets are "regionalized," thus challenging Adelman's assertion that the world oil market is homogeneous. This argument bears on the effectiveness of various energy policies. We argue that these policies should be analyzed using constructs such as "antitrust markets," rather than in relation to an ad hoc definition of regionalization like that used by Weiner. Using our definition of markets, we find that observed market behavior suggests different policy prescriptions. In particular, Weiner implicitly defines his markets too narrowly and this leads him to conclude that markets are regional. Patterns of trade in particular crude oils may not indicate regional market power. As a result, one can question the effectiveness of policies such as tariffs on imported oil.

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Published

1993-11-05

Issue

Section

Articles