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Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition An Analysis of Restructured U.S. Electricity Markets

  • James B. Bushnell
  • Erin T. Mansur
  • Celeste Saravia

This paper examines vertical arrangements in electricity markets. Vertically integrated wholesalers, or those with long-term contracts, have less incentive to raise wholesale prices when retail prices are determined beforehand. For three restructured markets, we simulate prices that define bounds on static oligopoly equilibria. Our findings suggest that vertical arrangements dramatically affect estimated market outcomes. Had regulators impeded vertical arrangements (as in California), our simulations imply vastly higher prices than observed and production inefficiencies costing over 45 percent of those production costs with vertical arrangements. We conclude that horizontal market structure accurately predicts market performance only when accounting for vertical structure.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13507.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13507.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Publication status: published as James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2008. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition: An Analysis of Restructured US Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 237-66, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13507
Note: EEE IO
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  1. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Knittel, Chris, 1999. "Market Power in Electricity Markets: Beyond Concentration Measures," Staff General Research Papers Archive 31548, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  13. 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.
  14. Aleksandr Rudkevich & Max Duckworth & Richard Rosen, 1998. "Modeling Electricity Pricing in a Deregulated Generation Industry: The Potential for Oligopoly Pricing in a Poolco," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 19-48.
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  18. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
  19. Mahenc, P. & Salanie, F., 2004. "Softening competition through forward trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 282-293, June.
  20. Blaise Allaz & Jean-Luc Vila, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Post-Print hal-00511806, HAL.
  21. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  22. Frank Wolak, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Hedge Contracts on Bidding Behavior in a Competitive Electricity Market," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 1-39.
  23. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Kahn, Edward & Stoft, Steven, 1995. "Market power in California electricity markets," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 219-236.
  24. Steven L. Puller, 2007. "Pricing and Firm Conduct in California's Deregulated Electricity Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 75-87, February.
  25. Green, Richard, 1999. "The Electricity Contract Market in England and Wales," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 107-24, March.
  26. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, December.
  27. Bushnell, James, 2004. "California's electricity crisis: a market apart?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1045-1052, June.
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