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Strategic pricing, market entry and competition: Evidence from German electricity submarkets

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  • Nikogosian, Vigen
  • Veith, Tobias

Abstract

In German electricity submarkets for residential customers standard contracts offered by former monopolists are the more costly option for customers who have not switched to an alternative contract yet. As most German households are served with this contract type we follow the Limit Pricing theory and show that standard contract price could be used as an instrument to affect competition, in terms of market entries, in the related market. We theoretically derive the optimal price-setting behavior of a price-discriminating incumbent provider and show that under particular circumstances reducing the standard contract price could increases the incumbent's profit. We then analyze our theoretical findings employing data for German retail electricity submarkets using simultaneous equation approach and can find support for our hypothesis. In particular for customers with low consumption and high relative switching costs the results show that the standard contract price can affect market entry whereas for high consumption level customers we have to reject our hypothesis. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 11-068.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11068

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Keywords: barrier to entry; first-mover advantage; price discrimination;

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  1. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1990. "Entry in Monopoly Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 531-53, October.
  2. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1980. "Predation, Reputation, and Entry Deterrence," Discussion Papers 427, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Evens Salies, 2008. "Mergers in the GB electricity market: effects on retail charges," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(11), pages 1483-1490.
  4. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1999. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 397-420, Autumn.
  5. Riechmann, Christoph, 2000. "Strategic pricing of grid access under partial price-caps -- electricity distribution in England and Wales," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 187-207, April.
  6. Felix Höffler & Sebastian Kranz, 2007. "Imperfect Legal Unbundling of Monopolistic Bottlenecks," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse16_2007, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Evens SALIES & Catherine WADDAMS PRICE, 2005. "Charges, Costs and Market Power: the Deregulated UK Electricity Retail Market," Industrial Organization 0508010, EconWPA.
  8. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," Economics Working Papers 8865, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-45, May.
  10. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-59, March.
  11. Thomas Gehrig & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Differentiation-Induced Switching Costs and Poaching," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 635-655, December.
  12. Jean Marie Abraham & Martin Gaynor & William B Vogt, 2003. "Entry and Competition in Local Hospital Markets," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/088, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  13. Ferrari, Stijn & Verboven, Frank, 2010. "Empirical analysis of markets with free and restricted entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 403-406, July.
  14. Klemperer, Paul D, 1987. "Entry Deterrence in Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 99-117, Supplemen.
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