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Complementary Bidding Mechanisms and Startup Costs in Electricity Markets

  • Mar Reguant

I extend multi-unit auction estimation techniques to a setting in which firms can express cost complementarities over time. In the context of electricity markets, I show how the auction structure and bidding data can be used to estimate these complementarities, which in these markets arise due to startup costs. I find that startup costs are substantial and that taking them into account helps better explain firm bidding strategies and production patterns. As in other dynamic settings, I find that startup costs limit the ability of firms to change production over time, exacerbating fluctuations in market prices. These fluctuations can induce estimates of market power that ignore dynamic costs to overstate markup volatility, with predicted markups that can be even negative in periods of low demand. I show how accounting for startup costs can provide a natural correction for these markup biases.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4811.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4811
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  1. Pakes, Ariel & Pollard, David, 1989. "Simulation and the Asymptotics of Optimization Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1027-57, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Kastl, Jakub, 2012. "On the properties of equilibria in private value divisible good auctions with constrained bidding," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 339-352.
  4. McAdams, David, 2008. "Partial identification and testable restrictions in multi-unit auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 74-85, September.
  5. Erin T. Mansur, 2008. "Measuring Welfare in Restructured Electricity Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 369-386, May.
  6. Jakub Kastl, 2011. "Discrete Bids and Empirical Inference in Divisible Good Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 974-1014.
  7. James T. E. Chapman & David McAdams & Harry J. Paarsch, 2007. "Bounding Revenue Comparisons across Multi-Unit Auction Formats under ε-Best Response," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 455-458, May.
  8. Kühn, Kai-Uwe & Machado, Matilde Pinto, 2004. "Bilateral Market Power and Vertical Integration in the Spanish Electricity Spot Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 4590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Ali Horta�su & David McAdams, 2010. "Mechanism Choice and Strategic Bidding in Divisible Good Auctions: An Empirical Analysis of the Turkish Treasury Auction Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 833 - 865.
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