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Do pay-as-bid auctions favor collusion? - Evidence from Germany’s market for reserve power

Author

Listed:
  • Sven Heim

    () (ZEW, University of Giessen)

  • Georg Götz

    () (University of Giessen)

Abstract

We analyze a drastic price increase in the German auction market for reserve power, which did not appear to be driven by increased costs. Studying the market structure and individual bidding strategies, we find evidence for collusive behavior in an environment with repeated auctions, pivotal suppliers and inelastic demand. The price increase can be traced back to an abuse of the auction’s pay-as-bid mechanism by the two largest firms. In contrast to theoretical findings, we show that pay-as-bid auctions do not necessarily reduce incentives for strategic capacity withholding and collusive behavior, but can even increase them.

Suggested Citation

  • Sven Heim & Georg Götz, 2013. "Do pay-as-bid auctions favor collusion? - Evidence from Germany’s market for reserve power," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201324, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201324
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    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/24-2013_heim.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Casimir Lorenz & Clemens Gerbaulet, 2017. "Wind Providing Balancing Reserves: An Application to the German Electricity System of 2025," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1655, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Knaut, Andreas & Obermüller, Frank & Weiser, Florian, 2017. "Tender Frequency and Market Concentration in Balancing Power Markets," EWI Working Papers 2017-4, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    3. Bergler, Julian & Heim, Sven & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2017. "Strategic capacity withholding through failures in the German-Austrian electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 210-221.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Collusion; Market Power; Energy Markets; Reserve Power; Balancing Power;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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