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Structural versus behavioral remedies in the deregulation of electricity markets: An experimental investigation motivated by policy concerns

  • van Koten, Silvester
  • Ortmann, Andreas

We experimentally study the effects of introducing a forward market and of increasing the number of competitors in a quantity-setting market under strictly convex production costs. Our key interest is to better understand which of these two remedies is more effective at enhancing competition. Allaz and Vila (1993) theorized that forward markets can have a pro-competitive effect under linear production costs. Le Coq and Orzen (2006) and Brandts et al. (2008) investigated this and related issues experimentally. All three experiments (including ours) support the prediction by Allaz and Vila (1993) that introducing a forward market does indeed intensify competition. The results of the present study, however, differ from previous experimental results in that we find the forward market to be the more effective remedy. Brandts et al. (2008) increase the number of competitors by entry, which thus increases the aggregate stock of production assets and makes output cheaper. In contrast, we increase the number of competitors by divestiture, which leaves the aggregate stock of production assets constant. Our results address an important policy issue and provide tentative evidence on the competition-enhancing effect of forward markets, which can be considered a behavioral remedy.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 64 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 256-265

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:256-265
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Jordi Brandts & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Arthur Schram, 2003. "Competitions with Forward Contracts: A Laboratory Analysis Motivated by Electricity Market Design," Working Papers 66, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Silvester van Koten & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "The Unbundling Regime for Electricity Utilities in the EU: A Case of Legislative and Regulatory Capture?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp328, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
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  5. Silvester Van Koten & Andreas Ortmann, 2011. "Structural versus Behavioral Remedies in the Deregulation of Electricity Markets: An Experimental Investigation Guided by Theory and Policy Concerns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp437, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  6. Tomaso Duso & Klaus Gugler & Burçin Yurtoglu, 2006. "How Effective is European Merger Control?," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-12, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  7. José Luis Ferreira & Praveen Kujal & Stephen Rassenti, 2010. "Multiple openings of forward markets: experimental evidence," Economics Working Papers we1023, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
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  16. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2006. "When and Why? A Critical Survey on Coordination Failure in the Laboratory," CEEL Working Papers 0605, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
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