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Estimate of Search Cost Frictions in the British Electricity Market

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Author Info

  • Monica Giulietti

    (Nottingham University Business School)

  • Michael Waterson

    (University of Warwick)

  • Matthijs R. Wildenbeest

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

Abstract

This paper studies consumer search and pricing behaviour in the British domestic electricity market following its opening to competition in 1999. We develop a sequential search model in which an incumbent and an entrant group compete for consumers who find it costly to obtain information on prices other than from their current supplier. We use a large data set on prices and input costs to structurally estimate the model. Our estimates indicate that consumer search costs must be relatively high in order to rationalize observed pricing patterns. We confront our estimates with observed switching behaviour and find they match well.

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File URL: http://www.bus.indiana.edu/riharbau/RePEc/iuk/wpaper/bepp2010-09-giulietti-waterson-wildenbeest.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2010-09.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2010-09

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Keywords: electricity; consumer search; price competition;

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