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Bidding in an electricity pay-as-bid auction




One of the main elements of the current reform of electricty trading in the UK is the change from a uniform price auction in the wholesale market to discriminatory pricing. We analyse this change under two polar market structures (perfectly competitive and monopolistic supply), with demand uncertainty. We find that under perfect competition there is a trade-off between efficiency and average prices between the two auction rules. We also establish that a move from uniform to discriminatory pricing under monopoly conditions has a negative impact on profits and output (weakly), and ambiguous implications for prices and welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Giulio Federico & David Rahman, 2000. "Bidding in an electricity pay-as-bid auction," Economics Papers 2001-W5, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Apr 2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0105

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nautz, D., 1995. "Optimal bidding in multi-unit auctions with many bidders," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 301-306, June.
    2. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
    3. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
    4. Robert G. Hansen, 1988. "Auctions with Endogenous Quantity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 44-58, Spring.
    5. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    6. von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik Morch & Harbord, David, 1993. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 531-546, May.
    7. Robert Wilson, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-689.
    8. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-875, September.
    9. 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 929-953, October.
    10. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-1277, November.
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    More about this item


    Multi-Unit Auctions; Price discrimination; Electricity;

    JEL classification:

    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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