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Vertical separation of transmission control and market efficiency in the wholesale electricity market

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  • Chu, Yin
  • Chang, Chun-Ping

Abstract

This study examines how vertical separation of transmission control affects the wholesale market efficiency in the electric power industry. We analyze a unique regional electricity wholesale market in the U.S. where initially restructuring only occurred in the transmission sector. Following a commonly-used best dispatch model (Wolfram, 1999; Borenstein et al., 2002), we simulate competitive benchmark prices and compare with the best estimates available for actual prices to measure price-cost markups of the wholesale market. Empirical results demonstrate that the vertical separation of transmission control led to a significant increase in market markups in peak-load hours, documenting evidence of enhanced market power. Although we also find a reduction in the price-cost margin in low-demand hours, we reserve caution for this finding.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Yin & Chang, Chun-Ping, 2020. "Vertical separation of transmission control and market efficiency in the wholesale electricity market," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:51:y:2020:i:c:s1062940819301184
    DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2019.101091
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity industry; Deregulation; Vertical separation; Transmission control; Market power;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy

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