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Vertical Integration in Restructured Electricity Markets: Measuring Market Efficiency and Firm Conduct

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  • Erin T. Mansur

    ()
    (School of Management)

Abstract

Unlike other studies that have found substantial inefficiencies in restructured electricity markets, this paper provides estimates that reveal relatively competitive behavior in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland market. This distinctive conclusion results from using a model that incorporates structural market features and particular production constraints that are not captured in previous studies. First, the vertical integration of firms in the PJM market reduces electricity producers' interest in setting high prices; producers sell wholesale electricity and also are required to buy power, which they provide to their retail customers at set rates. My model reflects this degree of vertical integration of PJM firms. Second, I account for production constraints that result in cost nonconvexities. Measures of price-cost margins based on a commonly used method that does not incorporate these nonconvexities imply that market imperfections during the summer following PJM's restructuring increased procurement costs 51% ($950 million). That method further implies considerable welfare loss as actual production costs exceeded the competitive model's estimates by 12.5%. This paper develops a consistent estimate of competitive production decisions that respect important production constraints, and it presents estimates showing that costs were only 3.4% above competitive levels. Using this new method of estimating production, I compare behavior of two producers that have relatively few retail customers with other firms. Consistent with these vertically integrated firms' incentives, only firms with large net selling positions in the market reduced output relative to competitive production estimates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm430.

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Date of creation: 03 Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm430

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Cited by:
  1. Kai-Uwe Kühn & Matilde Machado, 2004. "Bilateral Market Power And Vertical Integration In The Spanish Electricity Spot Market," Working Papers wp2004_0414, CEMFI.
  2. Frank A. Wolak, 2007. "Quantifying the supply-side benefits from forward contracting in wholesale electricity markets," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1179-1209.
  3. SMEERS, Yves, 2005. "How well can one measure market power in restructured electricity systems ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2005050, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Anderson, Edward J. & Hu, Xinmin, 2008. "Forward contracts and market power in an electricity market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 679-694, May.
  5. Elizabeth Armington & Eric Emch & Ken Heyer, 2006. "The Year in Review: Economics at the Antitrust Division, 2005–2006," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 305-326, December.
  6. Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura, 2006. "Comparison of Electricity Deregulation around the World and Implications for Ireland," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2006(3-Autumn), pages 38-63.

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