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A theoretical model of collusion and regulation in an electricity spot market

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  • Escobari, Diego

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical model of collusion and regulation in a wholesale electricity spot market. Given a demand for electricity, competing generators report their marginal costs. Then, only generators with the lowest marginal costs are selected to sell at a price equal to the marginal costs of the last generator selected to sell. The results show that under a fixed price level it is a weakly dominant strategy to truthfully report the marginal cost. Variable (or endogenous) prices create the possibility of profitable collusion among generators. With uncertainty in the marginal costs and risk neutrality, the results show that a necessary condition for collusion to be sustainable is that the marginal cost reported by the pivot (marginal generator) should be higher than the average of the true marginal costs of all the generators. The existence of collusion fines and audit probabilities were found to be effective in deterring collusion. It is also shown that more efficient generators have less incentive to collude.

Suggested Citation

  • Escobari, Diego, 2011. "A theoretical model of collusion and regulation in an electricity spot market," MPRA Paper 32178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32178
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/32178/1/MPRA_paper_32178.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Pablo Serra & Ronald Fischer, 2000. "Regulating the Electricity Sector in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2000), pages 155-218, August.
    4. Faye Steiner, 2003. "Regulation, industry structure and performance in the electricity supply industry," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(1), pages 143-182.
    5. 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.
    6. Paul L. Joskow, 1997. "Restructuring, Competition and Regulatory Reform in the U.S. Electricity Sector," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 119-138, Summer.
    7. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity; Regulation; Collusion.;

    JEL classification:

    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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