It is said that since the mid-1980s oil has become a commodity like others, and exhibits noticeable price volatility. How then do oil price fluctuations compare with those of other commodities? To address this question, we examine three aspects of price volatility for two marker crude oils and nine other widely traded commodities. Our results suggest that between 1985 and 1994 crude oil is in the upper end of the range of all measures of price volatility studied, but is not clearly beyond the bounds set by other commodities. Implications of this result for the oil industry are discussed.

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Resource and Energy Economics

Plourde, A, & Watkins, G.C. (G. C.). (1998). Crude oil prices between 1985 and 1994: How volatile in relation to other commodities?. Resource and Energy Economics, 20(3), 245–262.