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A Joint Estimation of Price-Cost Margins and Sunk Capital - Theory and Evidence from the European Electricity Industry

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Author Info

  • Roeger, Werner

    (European Commission)

  • Warzynski, Frédéric

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a new methodology to jointly estimate market power and the importance of sunk capital extending the work of Hall (1988) and Roeger (1995). We then apply this new technique to the European electricity industry using firm level data for the period 1994-1999, and analyze the impact of the 1996 European directive to liberalize electricity markets. We find that the average price cost margin has declined from 0.29 in 1994 to 0.22 in 1999. Moreover, the magnitude of the decline is linked to firm size: the largest firms have experienced a larger percentage fall. The variable cost parameter has increased from 0.36 in 1994 to 0.56 in 1999. The main reason of the change is the switch of the relationship between real labor productivity and the share of variable capital. Our results therefore document a more competitive electricity market and a more flexible and more efficient use of capital.

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File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/04-17_fwa.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04-17.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2004_017

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Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx
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Related research

Keywords: market power; fixed capital; liberalization; electricity market;

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References

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  1. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  2. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Fabienne Ilzkovitz & Adriaan Dierx & Viktoria Kovacs & Nuno Sousa, 2007. "Steps towards a deeper economic integration: the internal market in the 21st century," European Economy - Economic Papers 271, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  2. Alfonso Arpaia & Werner Roeger & Janos Varga & Jan in 't Veld & Alexandr Hobza & Isabel Grilo & Peter Wobst, 2007. "Quantitative assessment of Structural Reforms: Modelling the Lisbon Strategy," European Economy - Economic Papers 282, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Hylke Vandenbussche & Ziga Zarnic, 2008. "US Safeguards on Steel and the Markups of European Producers," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 458-490, October.
  4. Carlo Altomonte & Marcella Nicolini & Armando Rungi & Laura Ogliari, 2010. "Assessing the Competitive Behaviour of Firms in the Single Market: A Micro-based Approach," European Economy - Economic Papers 409, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  5. Vandenbussche, Hylke & Zarnic, Ziga, 2007. "Did US Safeguards Affect Mark-ups of EU Steel Producers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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