Secret Econometric Business: Watching FuelWatch and the ACCC

Sinclair Davidson[1]

Table of Contents

Abstract
Introduction
Background
But what econometric analysis?
Appendix S of the ACCC’s Petrol Prices and Australian Consumers report
The Data Dispute and Peer Review
Replication
The Harding Critique: Real Margins not Nominal Margins
Margins Reduced Everywhere!
Consumer Empowerment?
Conclusion
References

Abstract

This paper appraises the econometric study of Western Australia’s FuelWatch scheme that the ACCC has used to advocate to the Federal Government the petrol price regulation scheme known as ‘Fuel Watch’. It is argued that the ACCC’s econometric analysis is fundamentally flawed.




[1] School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, and the Institute of Public Affairs, sinclair.davidson@rmit.edu.au .This paper is revised from a submission to the Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into the Fuel Watch legislation. I would like to thank Informed Sources for providing the data used in the analysis. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Informed Sources. I would like to thank Chris Berg, Kate Herbert, an anonymous referee, and William Coleman for comments and suggestions that have substantially improved the paper.