The Allocative Cost of Price Ceilings: Lessons to be Learned from the US Residential Market for Natural Gas
Following a Supreme Court decision in 1954, natural gas markets in the U.S. were subject to 35 years of intensive federal regulation. Several studies have measured the deadweight loss from the price ceilings that were imposed during this period. This paper concentrates on an additional component of welfare loss that is rarely discussed. In particular, when there is excess demand for a good such as natural gas for which secondary markets do not exist, an additional welfare loss occurs when the good is not allocated to the buyers who value it the most. We quantify the overall size of this allocative cost, its evolution during the post-war period, and its geographical distribution, and we highlight implications of our analysis for the regulation of other markets. Using a household-level, discrete-continuous model of natural gas demand we estimate that the allocative cost averaged $8.1 billion annually in the U.S. residential market for natural gas during 1950-2000, effectively doubling previous estimates of the total welfare losses from natural gas regulation. We find that these allocative costs were borne disproportionately by households in the Northeast, Midwest, and South Atlantic states. Costs were largest in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts with 70% of all costs borne by the ten states affected most.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Train,Kenneth E., 2009.
"Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, Junio.
- MacAvoy, Paul W, 1971. "The Regulation-Induced Shortage of Natural Gas," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 167-99, April.
- Bernard, J.T. & Bolduc, D. & Belanger, D., 1993.
"Quebec Residential Electricity Demand: A Microeconometric Approach,"
9334, Laval - Recherche en Energie.
- Jean-Thomas Bernard & Denis Bolduc & Donald Belanger, 1996. "Quebec Residential Electricity Demand: A Microeconometric Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 92-113, February.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 1997.
"The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control,"
NBER Working Papers
6220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2005. "Household Electricity Demand, Revisited," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 853-883.
- Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
- Paul W. MacAvoy & Robert S. Pindyck, 1973.
"Alternative Regulatory Policies for Dealing with the Natural Gas Shortage,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(2), pages 454-498, Autumn.
- MacAvoy, Paul W. & Pindyck, Robert S., 1973. "Alternative regulatory policies for dealing with the natural gas shortage," Working papers 659-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Nesbakken, Runa, 2001. " Energy Consumption for Space Heating: A Discrete-Continuous Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(1), pages 165-84, March.
- Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1998. "The Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Standards in the US," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-33, March.
- Sweeney, James L, 1984. "The Response of Energy Demand to Higher Prices: What Have We Learned?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 31-37, May.
- Jeffrey A. Dubin & Allen K. Miedema & Ram V. Chandran, 1986. "Price Effects of Energy-Efficient Technologies: A Study of Residential Demand for Heating and Cooling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 310-325, Autumn.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6142. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.