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Investment Incentives and Auction Design in Electricity Markets

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  • de Frutos, Maria-Angeles
  • Fabra, Natalia
  • Von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik M

Abstract

Motivated by the regulatory debate in electricity markets, we seek to understand how market design affects market performance through its impact on investment incentives. For this purpose, we study a two-stage game in which firms choose their capacities under demand uncertainty prior to bidding into the spot market. We analyse a number of different market design elements, including (i) two commonly used auction formats, the uniform-price and discriminatory auctions, (ii) price-caps and (iii) bid duration. We find that, although the discriminatory auction tends to lower prices, this does not imply that investment incentives at the margin are poorer; indeed, under reasonable assumptions on the shape of the demand distribution, the discriminatory auction induces (weakly) stronger investment incentives than the uniform-price format.

Suggested Citation

  • de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Fabra, Natalia & Von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik M, 2008. "Investment Incentives and Auction Design in Electricity Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6626
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Earle & Karl Schmedders & Tymon Tatur, 2007. "On Price Caps Under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 93-111.
    2. Natalia Fabra & Nils‐Henrik Fehr & David Harbord, 2006. "Designing electricity auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 23-46, March.
    3. Morten Hviid, 1990. "Sequential capacity and price choices in a duopoly model with demand uncertainty," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 121-144, June.
    4. Reynolds, Stanley S. & Wilson, Bart J., 2000. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Competition, Demand Uncertainty, and Asymmetric Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 122-141, May.
    5. Federico, Giulio & Rahman, David, 2003. "Bidding in an Electricity Pay-as-Bid Auction," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 175-211, September.
    6. Jonathan Levin & Susan Athey & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Working Papers 2004.142, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Aumann, Robert J., 1974. "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 67-96, March.
    8. Cramton, Peter & Stoft, Steven, 2007. "Why We Need to Stick with Uniform-Price Auctions in Electricity Markets," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 26-37.
    9. Bushnell, James & Wolfram, Catherine, 2008. "Electricity Markets," Staff General Research Papers Archive 31547, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Susan Athey & Armin Schmutzler, 1999. "Innovation and the Emergence of Market Dominance," SOI - Working Papers 9906, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    11. Piccione, Michele & Tan, Guofu, 1996. "Cost-Reducing Investment, Optimal Procurement and Implementation by Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 663-685, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sakellaris, Kostis, 2010. "Modeling Electricity Markets as Two-Stage Capacity Constrained Price Competition Games under Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 23317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2010. "Break-up fees and bargaining power in sequential contracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 451-463, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    electricity; investment; market design; regulatory reform; uniform price and discriminatory auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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