OPEC in the epoch of globalization: An event study of global oil prices

Cyrus Bina, Minh Vo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article confirms that OPEC is neither a cartel nor exhibits any sign of market domination, market control, or monopoly. This confirmation is also in accord with the pioneering account of the competitive differential oil rents formed across the global industry since the crises of the 1970s. The methodology utilized in this study is known as the event-study, an innovative econometric method which attempts to investigate the possible influence of OPEC decisions on output upon the global oil spot and futures prices during the period of 1983-2005. The significance of this investigation is due to the fact that the apparent "lumpiness" of OPEC has to have no bearing on a priori acceptance of "perfect competition" as opposed to "imperfect competition" - a tautological hallmark of neoclassical theory utilized in the bulk of both orthodox and heterodox literature on oil. And, by implication, neither has the neoclassical parlance of rent, as "market imperfection" and/or "market power," any bearing on the globally competitive differential oil rents earned by the rentier states. OPEC is reflective of the competitive differential oil rents earned by its members; and, contrary to both the right and the left, and their obfuscating echo in the media, it rolls with the heavy-handed punches of global market in the present epoch. This study is rather a posteriori investigation that deals with the reality of competition in the Schumpeterian framework - a reality that, far from the fiction of textbook competition, is neither perfect nor imperfect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalGlobal Economy Journal
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Cartel
  • Competition
  • Differential oil rent
  • Event study
  • Global oil market
  • OPEC
  • Rentier state
  • Volatility

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