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Killing the Goose That May Have Laid the Golden Egg?

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  • Dieter Schmidtchen

    (Universität des Saarlandes)

  • Christoph Bier

    (Uni-Saarland - Center for the Study of Law and Economics)

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    Abstract

    The purpose of the paper is (1) to analyze the potential and the incentives for a vertically integrated input monopolist to engage in price-discrimination when there is downstream entry, and (2) to examine the question, whether a cost-based regulation of access charges for electricity grids enhances competition in the downstream-market. The paper shows that the incumbent will never block entry if the entrant is more efficient than the incumbent. The reason is that the input-monopolist can make more profit through input sales than it could generate by producing the downstream product itself. If the entrant does not have a cost advantage either the incumbent or the entrant gets a monopoly position. Providing for a level playing field by means of a cost-based regulation of access charges always creates competition in the downstream-market. The paper also derives the welfare effects of both the liberalization of the downstream-market and the cost-based regulation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Berkeley Electronic Press in its series German Working Papers in Law and Economics with number 2005-1-1123.

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    Handle: RePEc:bep:dewple:2005-1-1123

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    Related research

    Keywords: discrimination; regulation; vertical integration; electricity; access charges; sabotage;

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    1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Creating Competition through Interconnection: Theory and Practice," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 227-56, November.
    2. Susanne Bonomo & Massimo Filippini & Peter Zweifel, 1998. "Neue Aufschlüsse über die Elektrizitätsnachfrage der schweizerischen Haushalte," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 134(III), pages 415-436, September.
    3. Muller, Chr. & Wienken, W., 2004. "Measuring the degree of economic opening in the German electricity market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 283-290, December.
    4. Song, Jae-Do & Kim, Jae-Cheol, 2001. "Strategic Reaction of Vertically Integrated Firms to Downstream Entry: Deterrence or Accommodation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 183-99, March.
    5. Gert Brunekreeft, 2002. "Regulation and Third-Party Discrimination in the German Electricity Supply Industry," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 203-220, May.
    6. Mandy, David M, 2000. "Killing the Goose That May Have Laid the Golden Egg: Only the Data Know Whether Sabotage Pays," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 157-72, March.
    7. Armstrong, M. & Doyle, C. & Vickers, J., 1995. "The access pricing problem: a synthesis," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9532, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    8. Stefan Buehler, 2005. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Restructuring Network Industries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 205-228, 05.
    9. Yongmin Chen, 2000. "On Vertical Mergers and Their Competitive Effects," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0383, Econometric Society.
    10. Weisman, Dennis L & Kang, Jaesung, 2001. "Incentives for Discrimination when Upstream Monopolists Participate in Downstream Markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 125-39, September.
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