One of the most frequently examined statistical relationships in energy economics has been the price elasticity of gasoline demand. We conduct a quantitative survey of the estimates of elasticity reported for various countries around the world. Our meta-analysis indicates that the literature suffers from publication selection bias: insignificant or positive estimates of the price elasticity are rarely reported, although implausibly large negative estimates are reported regularly. In consequence, the average published estimates of both short- and long-run elasticities are exaggerated twofold. Using mixed-effects multilevel meta-regression, we show that after correction for publication bias the average long-run elasticity reaches -0.31 and the average short-run elasticity only -0.09.

Reference: Tomas Havranek, Zuzana Irsova, and Karel Janda (2012), "Demand for Gasoline is More Price-Inelastic than Commonly Thought," Energy Economics 34(1), pp. 201-207.