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Does Strategic Ability Affect Efficiency? Evidence from Electricity Markets

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Listed:
  • Ali Hortaçsu
  • Fernando Luco
  • Steven L. Puller
  • Dongni Zhu

Abstract

Oligopoly models of price competition predict that strategic firms exercise market power and generate inefficiencies. However, heterogeneity in firms’ strategic ability also generates inefficiencies. We study the Texas electricity market where firms exhibit significant heterogeneity in how they deviate from Nash equilibrium bidding. These deviations, in turn, increase the cost of production. To explain this heterogeneity, we embed a Cognitive Hierarchy model into a structural model of bidding and estimate firms’ strategic sophistication. We find that firm size and manager education affect sophistication. Using the model, we show that mergers that increase sophistication can increase efficiency despite increasing market concentration.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali Hortaçsu & Fernando Luco & Steven L. Puller & Dongni Zhu, 2017. "Does Strategic Ability Affect Efficiency? Evidence from Electricity Markets," NBER Working Papers 23526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23526
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tran Dang Khoa, 2018. "Market Efficiency and Market Power in Vietnam Competitive Generation Market," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 8(1), pages 181-189.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2019. "Uniform Pricing in U.S. Retail Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(4), pages 2011-2084.
    3. Anderson, Edward & Holmberg, Pär, 2018. "Price instability in multi-unit auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 318-341.
    4. Michele Fioretti, 2020. "Social Responsibility and Firm's Objectives," Sciences Po publications 2020-01, Sciences Po.
    5. Le Coq, Chloe & Schwenen, Sebastian, 2019. "Financial Contracts as Coordination Device," SITE Working Paper Series 47, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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