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The Impact of OPEC Conference Outcomes on World Oil Prices 1984-2001

This paper investigates how far OPEC influences world oil markets. We ask the question: What is the impact of the decisions of the OPEC Conference, the supreme authority of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, on world oil prices? Extracting the Conference s decisions from the communiqu�s of fifty meetings from 1984-2001, these decisions were compared with the subsequent market developments. The result is that this impact is weak at best, and if at all then restricted to meetings recommending a price increase. However, the opposite claim (found in the literature) - the Conference is simply following the market - was also not supported either. Another interesting observation is the little autocorrelation between the decisions of the Conference. This suggests that the ministers decisions accommodate quickly and efficiently recent events.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products; Energy Security and Geopolitics – International Energy Organizations

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
O19 - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

Keywords: OPEC meetings, oil prices, oil markets, OPEC decisions.

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol25-No1-3

Published in Volume 25, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.