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Market liberalization in the European natural gas market : the importance of capacity constraints and efficiency differences

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  • Steven Brakman
  • J.G.M. van Marrewijk
  • A. van Witteloostuijn

Abstract

In the European Union, energy markets are increasingly being liberalized. A case in point is the European natural gas industry. The general expectation is that more competition will lead to lower prices and higher volumes, and hence higher welfare. This paper indicates that this might not happen for at least two reasons. First, energy markets, including the market for natural gas, are characterized by imperfect competition and increasing costs to develop new energy sources. As a result, new entrants in the market are less efficient than incumbent firms. Second, energy markets, again including the market for natural gas, are associated with capacity constraints. Prices are determined in residual markets where the least efficient firms are active. This is likely to lead to price increases, rather than decreases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-15.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0915

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Keywords: natural gas; capacity constraints; efficiency; market liberalization;

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References

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  1. Witteloostuijn, A. van, 1992. "Theories of competition and market performance: multimarket competition and the source of potential entry," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5373403, Tilburg University.
  2. Kjarstad, Jan & Johnsson, F., 2007. "Prospects of the European gas market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 869-888, February.
  3. Castro-Rodriguez, Fidel & Marín Uribe, Pedro Luis & Siotis, Georges, 2001. "Capacity Choices in Liberalized Electricity Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Egging, Ruud & Gabriel, Steven A. & Holz, Franziska & Zhuang, Jifang, 2008. "A complementarity model for the European natural gas market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2385-2414, July.
  5. Robinson, Terry, 2007. "Have European gas prices converged?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2347-2351, April.
  6. Egging, Rudolf G. & Gabriel, Steven A., 2006. "Examining market power in the European natural gas market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2762-2778, November.
  7. J Peter Neary, 2004. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," Working Papers 200404, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M.G. & Triebs, T., 2008. "Productivity and Efficiency of US Gas Transmission Companies: A European Regulatory Perspective," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0812, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Lochner, Stefan & Bothe, David, 2009. "The development of natural gas supply costs to Europe, the United States and Japan in a globalizing gas market--Model-based analysis until 2030," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1518-1528, April.
  10. Remme, Uwe & Blesl, Markus & Fahl, Ulrich, 2008. "Future European gas supply in the resource triangle of the Former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Northern Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1622-1641, May.
  11. Wright, Philip, 2005. "Liberalisation and the security of gas supply in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(17), pages 2272-2290, November.
  12. Ellis, Andrew & Bowitz, Einar & Roland, Kjell, 2000. "Structural change in Europe's gas markets: three scenarios for the development of the European gas market to 2020," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 297-309, May.
  13. van Witteloostuijn, Arjen & Brakman, Steven & van Marrewijk, Charles, 2007. "Welfare distribution effect of a price reduction in the Dutch gas transport market: A scenario analysis of regulatory policy, market form and rent allocation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6299-6308, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2009. "Booms, Recessions and Financial Turmoil: A Fresh Look at Investment Decisions under Cyclical Uncertainty," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 225, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.

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