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Journal of Economic Perspectives
Article Title: World Oil: Market or Mayhem?
Specialization Codes: Petroleum,Energy Security and Geopolitics of Energy,
Authors: James L. Smith
Publication Date: Summer 2009
Description: Many observers regard the world oil market as a puzzle. Why are oil prices so volatile? Why did prices spike in the summer of 2008, and what role did speculators play? How important is OPEC? Is “peak oil” a genuine concern? Any attempt to answer these questions must be informed and disciplined by economics. We examine the evidence on each of these issues and provide an interpretation of developments in the world oil market from the perspective of economic theory.

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