Strategic Bidding in a Multi-Unit Auction: An Empirical Analysis of Bids to Supply Electricity
AbstractThis paper considers the bidding behavior of participants in the daily auction to supply electricity in England and Wales. Every day, owners of generating capacity submit bids reflecting a price for power from their plants. The price bid by the last plant used to meet electricity needs in a given time period is the price paid for capacity from all plants. Theoretical work on uniform-price multi-unit auctions suggests that bidders selling more than one unit of a good have an incentive to increase the prices they bid at high quantities. If a bid sets the equilibrium price, the bidder receives a higher price for that unit as well as for all inframarginal units. I find evidence of strategic bid increases. First, plants that are likely to be used after a number of other plants are already operating bid more. Second, the larger supplier submits higher bids, all else equal. Lastly, there is some evidence that bids for given plants are higher when the suppliers have more available capacity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6269.
Date of creation: Nov 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 29, no. 4 (Winter 1998): 703-725.
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
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