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The Clumsy Cartel

M.A. Adelman

Year: 1980
Volume: Volume 1
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol1-No1-5
View Abstract

Abstract:
The recent price explosions in the world oil market result from the tardy recognition of the post-1973 consumption slowdown. Such odd results could not happen in a competitive market, but they are not at all strange in the world of the cartel. An analogy may help explain. A diver in the sea cannot go lower than the sea floor, nor higher than the water's surface. He is nearly weightless, and can float at any depth between these extremes, but the slightest impact or effort sends him up or down. Similarly, in any market, the price cannot drop below incremental cost, since such a drop would choke off supply, nor can it rise above the level that would maximize profit to a monopoly, since the monopoly would gain by putting the price back down. But in a once-competitive market, where the price has been rising toward some unknown monopoly optimum, the price can hold steady or can move drastically up or down in response to very slight impulses. In this range the price may show no response, or even a perverse response, to changes in demand. Since 1973, price response has been perverse. This was clearly the case in 1974, as the world headed into recession. It is so again in 1979.During 1973-1978, real incomes in the non-Communist indus-trialized countries rose 13 percent, but oil use nevertheless was flat at approximately 50 million barrels daily (MBD). Exports



The World Oil Market: An Exporter's View

Alirio A. Parra

Year: 1980
Volume: Volume 1
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol1-No1-6
View Abstract

Abstract:
I am deeply honored to be part of this distinguished panel and to address my professional colleagues on the occasion of the first annual meeting of the International Association of Energy Econo-mists.



World Oil Price Increases: Sources and Solutions

Albert L. Danielsen, Edward B. Selby, Jr.

Year: 1980
Volume: Volume 1
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol1-No4-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
World oil prices have been high since 1973, compared to average production costs and historical norms, because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has functioned as a viable price-setting and output-restricting institution. Prices increased sharply in 1973-1974 and 1979, and in each case OPEC validated the higher price levels by subsequently cutting production. On the other hand, the importing countries have failed to establish institutions of their own that could mitigate price increases because they have not perceived the problem to be one of institutional control over prices. Instead, they have tended to view high oil prices as the result of resource scarcity. Their responses have been predominantly intermediate to long term, stockpiling for an embargo, encouraging conservation, and promoting the development of alternative energy



Reducing the Economic Impacts of Oil Supply Interruptions: An International Perspective

Henry S. Rowen, John P. Weyant

Year: 1982
Volume: Volume 3
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol3-No1-1
View Abstract

Abstract:
Several circumstances could lead to deep and extended interruptions of the world's supply of oil during the 1980s. The range of potential interruptions includes those on the scale experienced in 1973-74 and 1979-80 but is not limited to them. Much deeper and longer interruptions may occur or be threatened.



Coping with Supply Insecurity

M. A. Adelman

Year: 1982
Volume: Volume 3
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol3-No2-1
View Abstract

Abstract:
Since the end of World War II, there have been six world oil supply disruptions, in 1951, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1979, and 1980-one year in six, and the frequency seems to be increasing. This danger will continue, for there are many sources of disruption. Although the probability of any one type in any one year is low, the chances of escaping them all for several years are also low.



World Oil Prices and Economic Growth In the 1980s

Henry D. Jacoby and James L. Paddock

Year: 1983
Volume: Volume 4
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol4-No2-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
The world oil market is a forecaster's nightmare: seldom have so many knowledgeable observers been so wrong so often. Prior to 1973, few foresaw the magnitude of the price jump that was possible under disrupted conditions, or predicted the years of relative stability that followed. The Iranian revolution brought a similar surprise. On the other hand, in the fall of 1980 came the Iran-Iraq war; again a major price shock seemed at hand. Experts are still arguing about why it did not occur.



The Impact of the Oil Price Decline on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Jan Vanous

Year: 1983
Volume: Volume 4
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol4-No3-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
The effects on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe of the decline in the world market price of oil (and the subsequent likely decline in international prices of natural gas and coal) can be divided into three groups: direct, or first-round effects-the impact of the decline in net hard-currency export revenue/net import outlays for oil and other types of energy;"spillover" effects-the impact of potential Soviet cutback in the quantity of energy sold to Eastern Europe for nonconvertible rubles and at preferential prices; indirect, or secondary effects-the impact of oil price cuts on world market interest rates and thus the cost of debt servicing; the impact on Western economic recovery and thus the demand for imports from the Eastern bloc, and so on.



Comment on "Optimal Oil Producer Behavior Considering Macrofeedbacks"

Knut Anton Mork

Year: 1983
Volume: Volume 4
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol4-No4-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
Harry Saunders's paper on the above subject in this issue of the Journal raises a very interesting point. As is well known, oil-exporting countries now hold major assets in the Western economies. Furthermore, the sensitivity of these economies to abrupt changes in oil prices seems widely accepted. It then seems reasonable to expect oil exporters' pricing decisions to be influenced by concerns about the rate of return on their assets. In particular, Saunders argues that oil exporters would want to avoid abrupt price changes because the ensuing shock effects would tend to reduce the rate of return on capital.



Energy Prices and Capital Obsolescence: Evidence from the Oil Embargo Period

Joel C. Gibbons

Year: 1984
Volume: Volume 5
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol5-No1-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
The average service life of fixed assets in U.S. manufacturing industries increased gradually from 1962 to 1969. Thereafter, it fell sharply up to the mid-1970s. The most rapid change occurred in the three years following the Arab oil embargo. There is reason to believe that these events were causally related: the rapid escalation of petroleum prices caused the decline in useful lives of plant and machinery. The reasoning behind this statement and an analysis of the data on service lives of fixed assets are the topic of this paper.



Petroleum Price Elasticity, Income Effects, and OPEC's Pricing Policy

F. Gerard Adams and Jaime Marquez

Year: 1984
Volume: Volume 5
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol5-No1-7
View Abstract

Abstract:
A standard result from static economic theory is that a monopolist with zero cost will maximize profits by charging the price at which the demand has unit elasticity. Yet, the demand for petroleum, as seen by consumers, is price inelastic, and empirical estimates of the price elasticity for petroleum are typically less than one. Given the relatively low production cost for Middle East oil and the optimization rule referred to above, a natural question is whether OPEC, acting as a monopoly, has exhausted its potential for forcing price increases or whether it will ultimately be able to charge still higher prices as it tries to optimize its earnings. This possibility of higher oil prices is important for OPEC and for oil-consuming countries-for OPEC because the finite nature of resources implies that excess production today represents an irrecoverable loss; for consuming countries because of the high cost of oil and the adverse consequences of still higher oil prices on inflation and unemployment.




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