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

  • Andrew Sweeting

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.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 520 (04)
Pages: 654-685

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:520:p:654-685
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  1. 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.
  2. Green, R., 2004. "‘Did English Generators Play Cournot? Capacity Withholding in the Electricity Pool’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0425, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Green, Richard, 1999. "The Electricity Contract Market in England and Wales," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 107-24, March.
  4. Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Memorandum 09/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Natalia Fabra & Juan Toro, 2003. "The Fall in British Electricity Prices: Market Rules, Market Structure, or Both?," Industrial Organization 0309001, EconWPA.
  6. Natalia Fabra, 2003. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions: Uniform Versus Discriminatory," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 271-293, 09.
  7. Green, Richard & Newbery, David M G, 1991. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Green, Richard J, 1996. "Increasing Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 205-16, June.
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