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Long-Term Contracts and Asset Specificity Revisited – An Empirical Analysis of producer-Importer Relations in the Natural Gas Industry

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  • Anne Neumann
  • Christian von Hirschhausen

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze structural changes in long-term contracts in the international trade of natural gas. Using a unique data set of 262 long-term contracts between natural gas producers and importers, we estimate the impact of different institutional, structural and technical variables on the duration of contracts. We find that contract duration decreases as the market structure of the industry develops to more competitive regimes. Our main finding is that contracts that are linked to an asset specific investment are on average four years longer than those who are not.

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Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 0610.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:mee:wpaper:0610

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  1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
  2. Masten, Scott E, 1988. "Minimum Bill Contracts: Theory and Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 85-97, September.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Paul Joskow, 1984. "Vertical Integration and Long Term Contracts: The Case of Coal Burning Electric Generating Plants," Working papers 361, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Rachael E. Goodhue & Dale M. Heien & Hyunok Lee & Daniel A. Sumner, 2003. "Contracts and Quality in the California Winegrape Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3_4), pages 267-282, December.
  6. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  7. Keith J. Crocker & Scott E. Masten, 1988. "Mitigating Contractual Hazards: Unilateral Options and Contract Length," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 327-343, Autumn.
  8. Dagobert L. Brito & Peter R. Hartley, 2007. "Expectations and the Evolving World Gas Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-24.
  9. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Asset Specificity and the Structure of Vertical Relationships: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 95-117, Spring.
  10. Anne Neumann & Boriss Siliverstovs & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2006. "Convergence of European spot market prices for natural gas? A real-time analysis of market integration using the Kalman Filter," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(11), pages 727-732.
  11. Paul Joskow, 2005. "Regulation and Deregulation after 25 Years: Lessons Learned for Research in Industrial Organization," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 169-193, December.
  12. Mulherin, J Harold, 1986. "Complexity in Long-term Contracts: An Analysis of Natural Gas Contractual Provisions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 105-17, Spring.
  13. Doane, Michael J & Spulber, Daniel F, 1994. "Open Access and the Evolution of the U.S. Spot Market for Natural Gas," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 477-517, October.
  14. Scott E. Masten & Stéphane Saussier, 2000. "Econometrics of Contracts : an Assessment of Developments in the Empirical Literature on Contracting," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 215-236.
  15. Huw Dixon & Joshy Easaw, 2001. "Strategic Responses to Regulatory Policies: What Lessons Can Be Learned from the U.K. Contract Gas Market?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 379-396, June.
  16. Leon Oerlemans & Marius Meeus, 2001. "R&D Cooperation in a Transaction Cost Perspective," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 77-90, February.
  17. Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-93, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Michel Glachant & Adrien de Hauteclocque, 2009. "Long-term Energy Supply Contracts in European Competition Policy: Fuzzy not Crazy," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 6, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  2. Keyaerts, Nico & Hallack, Michelle & Glachant, Jean-Michel & D'haeseleer, William, 2011. "Gas market distorting effects of imbalanced gas balancing rules: Inefficient regulation of pipeline flexibility," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 865-876, February.
  3. Anne Neumann & Karsten Neuhoff, 2011. "Facilitating Low-Carbon Investments: Lessons from Natural Gas," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1154, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Catherine Locatelli, 2012. "Relations UE-Russie : les enjeux d'une nouvelle architecture gazière," Post-Print halshs-00755640, HAL.
  5. Durand-Viel, Laure & Villeneuve, Bertrand, 2009. "Strategic Capacity Investment under Holdup Threats: The Role of Contract Length and Width," MPRA Paper 19015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Kosnik, Lea & Lange, Ian, 2011. "Contract renegotiation and rent re-distribution: Who gets raked over the coals?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 155-165, September.
  7. Bastian Henze & Charles Noussair & Bert Willems, 2012. "Regulation of network infrastructure investments: an experimental evaluation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-38, August.
  8. Ibrahim Abada & Olivier Massol, 2010. "Security of supply in the European Gas Market A model-based analysis," EconomiX Working Papers 2010-13, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  9. Kosnik, Lea-Rachel, 2014. "Determinants of contract completeness: An environmental regulatory application," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 198-208.
  10. Arora, Vipin, 2012. "A Note on Natural Gas Market Evolution in Light of Transaction Cost Theory," MPRA Paper 54974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Keyaerts, Nico & D'haeseleer, William, 2014. "Forum shopping for ex-post gas-balancing services," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 209-221.
  12. Maria Kozhevnikova & Ian Lange, 2009. "Determinants of Contract Duration: Further Evidence from Coal-Fired Power Plants," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 217-229, May.
  13. Navajas, Fernando H., 2008. "Infrastructure integration and incomplete contracts: natural gas in the Southern Cone," MPRA Paper 31025, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Pierru, Axel & Roussanaly, Simon & Sabathier, Jérôme, 2013. "Capital structure in LNG infrastructures and gas pipelines projects: Empirical evidences and methodological issues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 285-291.

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