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Market Power In The England And Wales Wholesale Electricity Market 1995-2000

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  • Andrew Sweeting

Abstract

This article shows that generators exercised considerable market power in the England and Wales wholesale electricity market in the late 1990s. This is surprising because static oligopoly models predict that falling market concentration should have reduced market power. The article tests the equilibrium assumption of these models that each generator's bids should maximise its short-run profits given the bids of other generators. It finds that the two largest generators could have profitably increased their output from the beginning of 1997. Their behaviour was consistent with tacit collusion. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Sweeting, 2007. "Market Power In The England And Wales Wholesale Electricity Market 1995-2000," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 654-685, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:520:p:654-685
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Natalia Fabra, 2003. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions: Uniform Versus Discriminatory," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 271-293, September.
    2. Richard Green, 2004. "Did English Generators Play Cournot? Capacity withholding in the Electricity Pool," Working Papers 0410, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    3. Rafael Macatangay, 2002. "Tacit Collusion in the Frequently Repeated Multi-Unit Uniform Price Auction for Wholesale Electricity in England and Wales," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 257-273, May.
    4. Green, Richard J & Newbery, David M, 1992. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 929-953, October.
    5. Green, Richard, 1999. "The Electricity Contract Market in England and Wales," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 107-124, March.
    6. Green, Richard J, 1996. "Increasing Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 205-216, June.
    7. Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
    8. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, January.
    9. von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik Morch & Harbord, David, 1993. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 531-546, May.
    10. Natalia Fabra & Juan Toro, 2003. "The Fall in British Electricity Prices: Market Rules, Market Structure, or Both?," Industrial Organization 0309001, EconWPA.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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