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Structure Matters: Oil Markets Enter the Adelman Era

The 2014/2015 oil price collapse surprised the many economists who have published brilliant econometric explanations of oil price behavior. The sharp decline would not have caught Morris Adelman unawares. Professor Adelman's lifelong research focused on the link between market structure and price behavior. His seminal work on industry structure, beginning with grocery retailer A&P, has provided a framework that can be used to explain oil price fluctuations that have occurred over the past four decades. His approach may not be as accurate as the elegant econometric models that dominate today's literature but it does have one clear advantage: it provides far greater clarity on the way forward.

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JEL Codes: Q40: Energy: General, Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q35: Hydrocarbon Resources, Q38: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy, L71: Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels

Keywords: Crude oil markets, Petroleum supply, Price shocks, U.S., OPEC

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.SI1.pver

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Published in Volume 36, Adelman Special Issue of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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