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What is the X-Factor in the German Electricity Industry?


  • Andreas Kuhlmann


A new legislation in the German electricity market requires the implementation of an incentive- based regulation within the next years. In such a regime either prices or revenues are capped and grow with the inflation rate minus a factor, which accounts for productivity differences between the sector and the rest of the economy. This paper derives such an X-factor for the German electricity industry using a new productivity database and Growth Accounting methodology. Considering that several underlying assumptions are violated due to market imperfections, the calculated X-factor rises from 0.48 to a modified value of 2.15.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Kuhlmann, 2006. "What is the X-Factor in the German Electricity Industry?," ifo Working Paper Series 34, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Sappington, David E M, 1999. "Setting the X Factor in Price-Cap Regulation Plans," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-25, July.
    2. Storchmann, Karl, 2005. "The rise and fall of German hard coal subsidies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1469-1492, July.
    3. Ingo Vogelsang, 2005. "The German Electricity Sector – Finally on the Move?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(2), pages 30-39, 07.
    4. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, January.
    5. Bernstein, Jeffrey I. & Sappington, David E. M., 2000. "How to determine the X in RPI-X regulation: a user's guide," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 63-68, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Kuhlmann, 2006. "German Productivity - A Reassessment via the New Ifo Productivity Database," ifo Working Paper Series 35, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    2. Thorsten Proettel & Jochen Streb & Sabine Streb, 2009. "Die Produktivitätsentwicklung in der deutschen Stromwirtschaft in langfristiger Perspektive," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(3), pages 309-332, August.

    More about this item


    Electricity; productivity analysis; price cap regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation


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