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Vertical Integration and Long-Term Contracts in Risky Markets

  • Baldursson , Fridrik M.


    (University of Iceland)

  • von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik


    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

We consider the effects of vertical integration on the performance of long-term and spot markets when spot prices are uncertain and agents are risk averse. We find that vertical integration impairs market performance by increasing the gap between contract and (expected) spot prices. This holds regardless of whether retail prices are fixed or linked to spot prices. Depending upon the characteristics of demand and supply, vertical integration (and long-term contracting) may increase or decrease spot-price volatility.

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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 01/2007.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2007_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page:

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  1. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2007. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition An Analysis of Restructured U.S. Electricity Markets," NBER Working Papers 13507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Bushnell, 2007. "Oligopoly equilibria in electricity contract markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 225-245, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Fabra, Natalia & von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik & Harbord, David, 2002. "Modeling Electricity Auctions," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(7), pages 72-81.
  5. Matti Liski & Juan-Pablo Montero, 2004. "Forward trading and collusion in oligopoly," Working Papers 0412, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  6. Bert Willems, 2004. "Cournot Competition, Financial Option markets and Efficiency," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0414, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  7. Dimitri Vayanos, 1999. "Strategic trading and welfare in a dynamic market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 449, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Green, Richard, 1999. "The Electricity Contract Market in England and Wales," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 107-24, March.
  9. Hendrik Bessembinder & Michael L. Lemmon, 2002. "Equilibrium Pricing and Optimal Hedging in Electricity Forward Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1347-1382, 06.
  10. Blaise Allaz & Jean-Luc Vila, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Post-Print hal-00511806, HAL.
  11. Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
  12. Natalia Fabra & Juan Toro, 2001. "Price Wars and Collusion in the Spanish Electricity Market," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2001/05, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  13. Dimitri Vayanos, 2001. "Strategic Trading in a Dynamic Noisy Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 131-171, 02.
  14. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
  15. Powell, Andrew, 1993. "Trading Forward in an Imperfect Market: The Case of Electricity in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 444-53, March.
  16. repec:bla:restud:v:56:y:1989:i:3:p:317-55 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Baron, David P, 1970. "Price Uncertainty, Utility, and Industry Equilibrium in Pure Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 11(3), pages 463-80, October.
  18. Green, Richard J & Newbery, David M, 1992. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 929-53, October.
  19. Blaise Allaz, 1992. "Oligopoly, uncertainty and strategic forward transactions," Post-Print hal-00511812, HAL.
  20. Green, Richard & Le Coq, Chloé, 2010. "The length of contracts and collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 21-29, January.
  21. M. von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik & Amundsen, Eirik S. & Bergman, Lars, 2004. "The Nordic Market: Signs Of Stress?," Working Papers in Economics 15/04, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  22. D. W. Carlton, 1976. "Vertical Integration in Competitive Markets Under Uncertainty," Working papers 174, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  23. Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Memorandum 09/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  24. Baldursson, Fridrik M & von der Fehr, N.-H.M.Nils-Henrik M, 2004. "Price volatility and risk exposure: on market-based environmental policy instruments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 682-704, July.
  25. Mahenc, P. & Salanie, F., 2004. "Softening competition through forward trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 282-293, June.
  26. Allaz, Blaise, 1992. "Oligopoly, uncertainty and strategic forward transactions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 297-308, June.
  27. Anette Boom & Stefan Buehler, 2007. "Restructuring Electricity Markets when Demand is Uncertain: Effects on Capacity Investments, Prices and Welfare," CIE Discussion Papers 2007-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  28. Mansur, Erin T, 2007. "Upstream Competition and Vertical Integration in Electricity Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 125-56, February.
  29. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
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