سازمان اوپک: شکست بازار یا شکست قدرت؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|17372||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11352 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 50, November 2012, Pages 570–580
The actions of OPEC and Saudi Arabia are discussed in terms of their objectives and their technical and social constraints. It is concluded (1) that OPEC does not act as a cartel and (2) that Hotelling’s rule is not an important feature of pricing or production. OPEC’s (more specifically, Saudi Arabia’s) ideal policy is to keep price moderate to try to assure a market for their high reserves over the long run. Such an action would require heavy investments in capacity, including in excess capacity, for times of interruption of supply from other countries as in the 1990s and for times of high demand as in the 2000s. The action may be inconsistent with other objectives and in any case may be too difficult to achieve.
In the past 30 and more years, economic models of OPEC and the world oil market have been direct applications of the theories of oligopoly and of exhaustible resources. The stylized facts of these models can be summarized as follows. The actors are portrayed as producers of a homogeneous product. The level of reserves of each actor is known and fixed. Their objective is to maximize their discounted profit, subject to the actions of their rivals. In maximizing present value, they exert market power through adjustment of current output. Exhaustibility of their own and of their rivals’ reserves dominates the determination of dynamic equilibrium. A central role is played by Hotelling’s rule, an arbitrage condition stating that marginal revenue net of marginal cost must rise to obey a dynamic condition involving the rate of interest. Many econometric investigations have attempted to check the validity of these models, which we call Hotelling models. In the aggregate they have been inconclusive. For example, careful econometric studies by Smith (2005) and Kaufmann et al. (2008, p. 348) find conflicting explanations of OPEC behavior and conclude that OPEC does not fit a single economic model. The present paper steps away from Hotelling models. Section 2 addresses implications of dynamic optimization in a strategic context with discounted profit as the objective. One step is to work with a disaggregated technology for the incentives and choices facing the main producers. The analysis is grounded in technical and natural features. In light of the discussion, Section 3 steps away from discounted profit and proposes a more flexible economic objective for the main actor in OPEC, Saudi Arabia. Like a slight turn of a kaleidoscope, these steps re-form market patterns, retaining some familiar aspects but being different enough to suggest why empirical work has found inconsistencies. Given the legendary secrecy of OPEC and its component regimes, shedding some light in this way may be the best that outside analysts can do. The assessment advanced is that all producers but one act as price takers, but not as the price takers in a Hotelling model. The prospect of exhaustibility has limited influence and Hotelling rents are insignificant. Instead, producers are strongly constrained in the present by technology and nature. The main producer in OPEC, Saudi Arabia, does not act as a price taker. But it does not behave as a classic profit maximizer and its objectives do not coincide with those of a classic cartel participant. Considerable qualitative information leads us to propose that the policy that Saudi Arabia ought to pursue in its own interest is close to one of its recent policies, namely attempting to keep price within an acceptable band. In particular, the Saudi interest is not in raising the price to extract monopoly profit but to restrain the price to conserve its market in the long run. Restraint is a classic policy of a dominant minerals producer with large, high-quality reserves. In keeping with the findings of Smith and Kaufmann, the paper does not have a single model of OPEC. The subject has too many facets for a tractable mathematical model. Rather, it tentatively borrows from, extends and informally stitches together a number of economic models. It discusses aspects of OPEC’s decisions that include the technology of production and the political–economic attributes of the producers. We draw a composite sketch from many independent witnesses.