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Designing electricity auctions

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Author Info

  • Natalia Fabra
  • Nils‐Henrik Fehr
  • David Harbord

Abstract

Motivated by the new auction format introduced in the England and Wales electricity market, as well as the recent debate in California, we characterize bidding behavior and market outcomes in uniform and discriminatory electricity auctions. We find that uniform auctions result in higher average prices than discriminatory auctions, but the ranking in terms of productive efficiency is ambiguous. The comparative effects of other market design features, such as the number of steps in suppliers' bid functions, the duration of bids and the elasticity of demand are also analysed. We also consider the relationship between market structure and market performance in the two auction formats. Finally, we clarify some methodological issues in the analysis of electricity auctions. In particular, we show that analogies with continuous share auctions are misplaced so long as firms are restricted to a finite number of bids.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 23-46

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Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:1:p:23-46

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References

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  1. Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Memorandum 09/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
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  4. Professor Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Microeconomics 0004008, EconWPA.
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  16. Kahn, Alfred E. & Cramton, Peter C. & Porter, Robert H. & Tabors, Richard D., 2001. "Uniform Pricing or Pay-as-Bid Pricing: A Dilemma for California and Beyond," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 70-79, July.
  17. Giulio Federico & David Rahman, 2001. "Bidding in an Electricity Pay-as-Bid Auction," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Author One David Harbord & Author Two Chris McCoy, 2002. "Mis-Designing the UK Electricity Market," Industrial Organization 0203003, EconWPA.
  19. Brunekreeft, Gert, 2001. "A multiple-unit, multiple-period auction in the British electricity spot market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 99-118, January.
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  21. Rassenti, Stephen J & Smith, Vernon L & Wilson, Bart J, 2003. "Discriminatory Price Auctions in Electricity Markets: Low Volatility at the Expense of High Price Levels," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 109-23, March.
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