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Pass-Through as a Test for Market Power: An Application to Solar Subsidies

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  • Jacquelyn Pless
  • Arthur A. van Benthem

Abstract

We formalize pass-through over-shifting as a simple yet under-utilized test for market power.We apply this test in the market for solar energy. Speci cally, we estimate the pass-through ofsolar subsidies to solar system prices using rich micro-level transaction and subsidy data fromCalifornia. Buyers of solar systems capture nearly the full subsidy, while there is more-than-complete pass-through to lessees. We conclude that solar markets are imperfectly competitiveby ruling out alternative explanations for over-shifting, and reinforce this conclusion with a testof solar demand curvature. This procedure can serve to detect market power beyond the solarmarket.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacquelyn Pless & Arthur A. van Benthem, 2018. "Pass-Through as a Test for Market Power: An Application to Solar Subsidies," OxCarre Working Papers 212, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:212
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    5. Nicholas Ryan, 2020. "Holding Up Green Energy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2294, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. Bowei Guo & Giorgio Castagneto Gissey, 2019. "Cost Pass-through in the British Wholesale Electricity Market: Implications of Brexit and the ETS reform," Working Papers EPRG1937, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    7. Melo, Carolina & Moita, Rodrigo & Sunao, Stefanie, 2021. "Passing through the supply chain: Implications for market power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    8. Li, Yumin, 2018. "Incentive pass-through in the California Solar Initiative – An analysis based on third-party contracts," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 534-541.
    9. Ying Fan & Ge Zhang, 2022. "The welfare effect of a consumer subsidy with price ceilings: the case of Chinese cell phones," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 53(2), pages 429-449, June.
    10. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Štěpán Jurajda, 2021. "Wages, Minimum Wages, and Price Pass-Through: The Case of McDonald’s Restaurants," NBER Working Papers 28506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Dong, Changgui & Zhou, Runmin & Li, Jiaying, 2021. "Rushing for subsidies: The impact of feed-in tariffs on solar photovoltaic capacity development in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 281(C).
    12. Daniele Curzi & Maria Garrone & Alessandro Olper, 2021. "Import Competition and Firm Markups in the Food Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(4), pages 1433-1453, August.
    13. Sarah Tougher & Kara Hanson & Catherine A. Goodman, 2021. "Does subsidizing the private for‐profit sector benefit the poor? Evidence from national antimalarial subsidies in Nigeria and Uganda," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(10), pages 2510-2530, September.
    14. Naylor, Jamie & Deaton, B. James & Ker, Alan, 2020. "Assessing the effect of food retail subsidies on the price of food in remote Indigenous communities in Canada," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    15. Ander Iraizoz & José M Labeaga, 2022. "Incidence and Avoidance Effects of Spatial Fuel Tax Differentials: Evidence using Regional Tax Variation in Spain," PSE Working Papers halshs-03789430, HAL.
    16. Eloïse Corazza & Francesco Filippucci, 2022. "Who Profits from Training Subsidies? Evidence from a French Individual Learning Account," PSE Working Papers halshs-03519664, HAL.
    17. Anderson, Anders & Hong, Harrison, 2022. "Welfare Implications of Electric-Bike Subsidies: Evidence from Sweden," Misum Working Paper Series 2022-8, Stockholm School of Economics, Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum).
    18. Ander Iraizoz & José M Labeaga, 2022. "Incidence and Avoidance Effects of Spatial Fuel Tax Differentials: Evidence using Regional Tax Variation in Spain," Working Papers halshs-03789430, HAL.
    19. Evert Reins, 2021. "Seductive subsidies? An analysis of second-degree moral hazard in the context of photovoltaic solar systems," IRENE Working Papers 21-03, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    20. Swanson, Andrew C., 2022. "Corn, Carbon, and Competition: The Low Carbon Fuel Standard's Effects on Imperfectly Competitive Corn Markets," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322442, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    21. Sébastien Houde & Wenjun Wang, 2022. "The Incidence of the U.S.-China Solar Trade War," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 22/372, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    22. Reeves, D.C. & Rai, V., 2018. "Strike while the rebate is hot: Savvy consumers and strategic technology adoption timing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 325-335.
    23. Eloïse Corazza & Francesco Filippucci, 2022. "Who Profits from Training Subsidies? Evidence from a French Individual Learning Account," Working Papers halshs-03519664, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    solar subsidy; pass-through; over-shifting; demand curvature; market power; third-;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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