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Measuring Welfare in Restructured Electricity Markets

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  • Erin T. Mansur

    (Associate Professor, Yale School of Management)

Abstract

Restructuring electricity markets has enabled wholesalers to exercise market power. Using a common method to measure competition, several studies have found substantial inefficiencies. This method overstates actual welfare loss by ignoring production constraints that result in non-convex costs. I develop an alternative method that accounts for these constraints and apply it to the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland market. For the summer following restructuring, the common method implies that market imperfections resulted in considerable welfare loss, with actual production costs exceeding the competitive model's estimates by 13%-21%. In contrast, my method finds that actual costs were only between 3% and 8% above the competitive levels. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 369-386

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:90:y:2008:i:2:p:369-386

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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References

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  1. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1998. "Strategic Bidding in a Multiunit Auction: An Empirical Analysis of Bids to Supply Electricity in England and Wales," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 703-725, Winter.
  2. Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur, 2008. "Is Real-Time Pricing Green? The Environmental Impacts of Electricity Demand Variance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 550-561, August.
  3. Bushnell, James & Wolfram, Catherine, 2008. "Electricity Markets," Staff General Research Papers 31547, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  5. Harvey, Scott M. & Hogan, William W., 2001. "On the Exercise of Market Power Through Strategic Withholding in California," Working paper 73, Regulation2point0.
  6. Steven L. Puller, 2007. "Pricing and Firm Conduct in California's Deregulated Electricity Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 75-87, February.
  7. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2007. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition An Analysis of Restructured U.S. Electricity Markets," NBER Working Papers 13507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mansur, Erin T, 2007. "Upstream Competition and Vertical Integration in Electricity Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 125-56, February.
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  10. Fabra, Natalia & Toro, Juan, 2005. "Price wars and collusion in the Spanish electricity market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 155-181, April.
  11. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
  14. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ali Hortacsu & Steven L. Puller, 2005. "Understanding Strategic Bidding in Restructured Electricity Markets: A Case Study of ERCOT," NBER Working Papers 11123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2008. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition: An Analysis of Restructured US Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 237-66, March.
  3. Graf, Christoph & Wozabal, David, 2013. "Measuring competitiveness of the EPEX spot market for electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 948-958.
  4. Hesamzadeh, Mohammad R. & Biggar, Darryl R. & Hosseinzadeh, Nasser, 2011. "The TC-PSI indicator for forecasting the potential for market power in wholesale electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 5988-5998, October.
  5. Harrison Fell & Joshua Linn, 2012. "Renewable Electricity Policies, Heterogeneity, and Cost Effectiveness," Working Papers 2012-07, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
  6. Erin T. Mansur, 2007. "Prices vs. Quantities: Environmental Regulation and Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 13510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Wolf-Peter, Schill, 2011. "Electric vehicles in imperfect electricity markets: The case of Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6178-6189, October.
  8. Meredith Fowlie, 2008. "Incomplete Environmental Regulation, Imperfect Competition, and Emissions Leakage," NBER Working Papers 14421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Erin T. Mansur, 2007. "Do Oligopolists Pollute Less? Evidence from a Restructured Electricity Market," NBER Working Papers 13511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Erin Mansur, 2013. "Prices versus quantities: environmental regulation and imperfect competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 80-102, August.
  11. Milan Vondráček & Tomáš Skuček, 2010. "Unbundling costs in the energy sector: competitive environment for the customers´ benefits or too costly experiment?," Ekonomika a Management, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(3).
  12. Mar Reguant, 2014. "Complementary Bidding Mechanisms and Startup Costs in Electricity Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 4811, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Rubin, Ofir D. & Babcock, Bruce A., 2011. "A novel approach for modeling deregulated electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2711-2721, May.
  14. Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Tangerås, Thomas P., 2009. "Market power in the Nordic electricity wholesale market: A survey of the empirical evidence," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3681-3692, September.

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