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Strategic bidding in vertically integrated power markets with an application to the Italian electricity auctions

  • Bosco, Bruno
  • Parisio, Lucia
  • Pelagatti, Matteo

In this paper we apply a model of optimal bidding behavior to the Italian wholesale electricity market under three hypotheses: i) costs of generation are private knowledge, ii) firms can be vertically integrated, and iii) firms can sell part of their production in advance with bilateral contracts. We first use optimal bid functions and market data to retrieve time-varying marginal cost functions, price–cost margins and Lerner Indexes of market power for a sample of Italian companies. Then, we use estimated costs and actual equilibrium prices to evaluate the elasticity of these series to fuel price variations and estimate a possible differential impact of the dynamics of input expenditures (fuel price above all) on generation costs and final electricity prices. Our estimates suggest that the elasticities of costs and equilibrium prices with respect to oil price are virtually the same and, therefore, that the auction mechanism per se does not limit the extent to which cost increases are transferred to prices.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 2046-2057

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:6:p:2046-2057
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Parisio, Lucia & Bosco, Bruno, 2006. "Electricity prices and cross-border trade: volume and strategy effects," MPRA Paper 473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Natalia Fabra & Juan Toro, 2002. "Price Wars and Collusion in the Spanish Electricity Market," Industrial Organization 0212001, EconWPA, revised 31 Aug 2003.
  3. Wolak, Frank A., 2010. "Using restructured electricity supply industries to understand oligopoly industry outcomes," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 227-246, December.
  4. Aitor Ciarreta & María Espinosa, 2010. "Market power in the Spanish electricity auction," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 42-69, February.
  5. Boffa, Federico & Pingali, Viswanath & Vannoni, Davide, 2010. "Increasing market interconnection: An analysis of the Italian electricity spot market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 311-322, May.
  6. Garcia-Diaz, Anton & Marin, Pedro L., 2003. "Strategic bidding in electricity pools with short-lived bids: an application to the Spanish market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 201-222, February.
  7. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
  8. Natalia Fabra & Nils‐Henrik Fehr & David Harbord, 2006. "Designing electricity auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 23-46, 03.
  9. Bruno Bosco & Lucia Parisio & Matteo Pelagatti & Fabio Baldi, 2010. "Long-run relations in european electricity prices," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(5), pages 805-832.
  10. Parisio, Lucia & Bosco, Bruno, 2003. "Market Power and the Power Market: Multi-unit Bidding and (In)Efficiency in Electricity Auctions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-401, August.
  11. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Frank Wolak, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Hedge Contracts on Bidding Behavior in a Competitive Electricity Market," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 1-39.
  14. Natalia Fabra, 2003. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions: Uniform Versus Discriminatory," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 271-293, 09.
  15. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2007. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition An Analysis of Restructured U.S. Electricity Markets," NBER Working Papers 13507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
  17. Hughes, John S. & Kao, Jennifer L., 1997. "Strategic forward contracting and observability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 121-133, November.
  18. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  19. Ali Hortaçsu & Steven L. Puller, 2008. "Understanding strategic bidding in multi-unit auctions: a case study of the Texas electricity spot market," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 86-114.
  20. Brunekreeft, Gert, 2001. "A multiple-unit, multiple-period auction in the British electricity spot market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 99-118, January.
  21. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
  22. Crawford, Gregory S. & Crespo, Joseph & Tauchen, Helen, 2007. "Bidding asymmetries in multi-unit auctions: Implications of bid function equilibria in the British spot market for electricity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1233-1268, December.
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