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An Empirical Analysis of the Potential for Market Power in California's Electricity Industry

  • Borenstein, Severin
  • Bushnell, James

Using historical cost data, we simulate the California electricity market after deregulation as a static Cournot market with a competitive fringe. Our model indicates that, under the prederegulation structure of generation ownership, there is potential for significant market power in high demand hours, particularly in the fall and early winter months when hydroelectric output is at its lowest level relative to demand. The results also show that two of the most important factors in determining the extent and severity of market power are the level of available hydroelectric production and the elasticity of demand. Copyright 1999 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Industrial Economics.

Volume (Year): 47 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 285-323

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:47:y:1999:i:3:p:285-323
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  1. Cardell, Judith B. & Hitt, Carrie Cullen & Hogan, William W., 1997. "Market power and strategic interaction in electricity networks," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 109-137, March.
  2. Richard Schmalensee & Bennett W. Golub, 1984. "Estimating Effective Concentration in Deregulated Wholesale Electricity Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 12-26, Spring.
  3. Berenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Stoft, Steven, 2000. "The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in a Deregulated Electricity Industry," Staff General Research Papers 13145, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Kahn, Edward & Stoft, Steven, 1995. "Market power in California electricity markets," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 219-236.
  5. Bolle, Friedel, 1992. "Supply function equilibria and the danger of tacit collusion : The case of spot markets for electricity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 94-102, April.
  6. David M. Newbery, 1995. "Power Markets and Market Power," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 39-66.
  7. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  8. Kahn, Edward & Bailey, Shawn & Pando, Luis, 1997. "Simulating electricity restructuring in California: Interactions with the regional market," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 3-28, March.
  9. Frank A. Wolak & Robert H. Patrick, 2001. "The Impact of Market Rules and Market Structure on the Price Determination Process in the England and Wales Electricity Market," NBER Working Papers 8248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
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