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On the Price Spread of Benchmark Crude Oils: A Spatial Price Equilibrium Model

Bennett, Max and Yuan, Yue (2016): On the Price Spread of Benchmark Crude Oils: A Spatial Price Equilibrium Model.

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Abstract

Benchmark crude oils exhibited dramatic fluctuations in price spreads in the recent decade, a phenomenon that rarely occurred in earlier decades. This paper develops a rational expectations two-period model of spatial price equilibrium, and departs from standard models by assuming increasing marginal costs of transportation and storage. We econometrically validate our model using a dataset that covers an extended time period. The model allows us to determine the underlying causes of the unique phenomenon of drastically changing crude oil price spreads over the past decade.

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