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The environmental and efficiency effects of restructuring on the electric power sector in the United States: An empirical analysis


  • Sharabaroff, Alexander
  • Boyd, Roy
  • Chimeli, Ariaster


Recent measures to restructure the electric power sector in different US states have raised the interest of policy makers, commentators, and the general public as to the actual impact of restructuring on both the economy and the environment. This paper focuses on two aspects of restructuring, namely its potential impact on the efficiency of electricity generation and air pollution. Our empirical results suggest that restructuring contributes to improved efficiency of electricity generation and better air quality through reduced electricity-induced sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, although no effect was found for emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx). These results, in turn could have important implications for policy in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharabaroff, Alexander & Boyd, Roy & Chimeli, Ariaster, 2009. "The environmental and efficiency effects of restructuring on the electric power sector in the United States: An empirical analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4884-4893, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:11:p:4884-4893

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2005. "The Environmental Impacts of Electricity Restructuring: Looking Back and Looking Forward," Discussion Papers dp-05-07, Resources For the Future.
    5. Michael G. Pollitt, 2008. "The Future of Electricity (and Gas) Regulation in a Low-carbon Policy World," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 63-94.
    6. Joskow, Paul L., 2005. "Transmission policy in the United States," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 95-115, June.
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    8. Kira R. Fabrizio & Nancy L. Rose & Catherine D. Wolfram, 2007. "Do Markets Reduce Costs? Assessing the Impact of Regulatory Restructuring on US Electric Generation Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1250-1277, September.
    9. Joskow, P.L., 2003. "The Difficult Transition to Competitive Electricity Markets in the U.S," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0328, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Paul L. Joskow, 1997. "Restructuring, Competition and Regulatory Reform in the U.S. Electricity Sector," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 119-138, Summer.
    11. Palmer, Karen & Ando, Amy, 1998. "Getting on the Map: The Political Economy of State-Level Electricity Restructuring," Discussion Papers dp-98-19-rev, Resources For the Future.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischlein, Miriam & Wilson, Elizabeth J. & Peterson, Tarla R. & Stephens, Jennie C., 2013. "States of transmission: Moving towards large-scale wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 101-113.
    2. Arabi, Behrouz & Munisamy, Susila & Emrouznejad, Ali & Shadman, Foroogh, 2014. "Power industry restructuring and eco-efficiency changes: A new slacks-based model in Malmquist–Luenberger Index measurement," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 132-145.
    3. Asane-Otoo, Emmanuel, 2016. "Competition policies and environmental quality: Empirical analysis of the electricity sector in OECD countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 212-223.


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