Adjusting to Volatile Energy Prices

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Peterson Institute, 1994 - Business & Economics - 262 pages
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Oil price volatility has been highly criticized on many fronts, from the top-level official to the average consumer. Authorities from both producing and consuming nations have called for mechanisms to restore order to a chaotic market.
The author traces the development of petroleum commodity markets, then examines the quest by producers and consumers for stability in world oil markets. He finds that modest producer and consumer gains can be realized through negotiations that achieve removal of barriers to trade, elimination of hurdles to foreign investment, and strengthening of financial institutions.
Verleger reviews previous attempts to stabilize price fluctuations of other commodities and finds that these efforts have invariably failed. He argues that the very size of the oil market makes it unlikely that an effort to stabilize oil prices would succeed. Moreover, he shows that an oil price stabilization agreement would impose large costs on consumers.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Why a Dialogue?
11
Function Nature and Performance
41
The Objectives of the Participants
85
Bad and Probably Impractical
103
The Market Alternative to Price Stabilization
133
Framing a Dialogue
167
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About the author (1994)

Philip K. Verleger Jr., former visiting fellow, specializes in the study of energy markets and is president of PKVerleger LLC and a senior adviser to The Brattle Group, a Cambridge economics consulting firm.

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