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Are Regional Oil Markets Growing Closer Together?: An Arbitrage Cost Approach

Abstract:
A large number of papers published in the last decade have attempted to show that energy markets have grown more integrated. These articles attempt to infer that various markets have become more "unified" because the correlation (in various forms) of prices between markets has increased during the last several years. This article suggests that a more appropriate modeling technique based on the theory of arbitrage as presented in Spiller and Wood (1988a and b), is better suited to answering this question. In this paper, the arbitrage technique is extended and applied to light crude oil markets in the 1990s. Arbitrage costs between markets are estimated. In addition, the hypothesis that crude oil markets have converged during this period is tested. Substantial though mixed support is gained for this hypothesis.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products; Energy Modeling – Energy Data, Modeling, and Policy Analysis

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

Keywords: Crude oil, oil markets, oil policy, arbitrage cost model

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol22-No2-1


Published in Volume22, Number 2 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.