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Electricity Restructuring: What Has Worked, What Has Not, and What is Next


  • Jeff Lien

    (Economic Analysis Group, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice)


In the 1990s and early 2000s, a series of state and federal initiatives restructured electric markets. In many areas of the country generation was unbundled from transmission and distribution and competitive markets for energy generation were established. A decade has now passed since many of these market reforms were implemented, and increasing energy prices have re-focused attention on these reforms. In particular, commentators are blaming the reforms for the rising energy prices and, in several states, legislators are now considering re-imposing regulation. In this paper I discuss some successful features of industry restructuring, and consider areas where further reform may be warranted. It appears that market restructuring is now producing significant tangible benefits in the areas of the country where it has been most fully implemented. Calls for the reimposition of heavyhanded regulation should be resisted.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Lien, 2008. "Electricity Restructuring: What Has Worked, What Has Not, and What is Next," EAG Discussions Papers 200804, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:doj:eagpap:200804

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark A. Jamison, 2011. "Liberalization and Regulation of Telecoms, Electricity, and Gas in the United States," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Network Industries, chapter 21 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Hyman, Leonard S., 2010. "Restructuring electricity policy and financial models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 751-757, July.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:116:y:2018:i:c:p:373-381 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Energy; Electricity; Restructuring; Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation


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