IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Consumer Preference Not to Choose: Methodological and Policy Implications

  • Brennan, Timothy


    (Resources for the Future)

Residential consumers remain reluctant to choose new electricity suppliers. Even the most successful jurisdictions, four U.S. states and other countries, have had to adopt extensive consumer education procedures that serve largely to confirm that choosing electricity suppliers is daunting. Electricity is not unique in this respect; numerous studies find that consumers are generally reluctant to switch brands, even when they are well-informed about product characteristics. If consumers prefer not to choose, opening regulated markets can reduce welfare, even for some consumers who do switch, as the incumbent can exploit this preference by raising price above the formerly regulated level. Policies to open markets might be successful even if limited to industrial and commercial customers, with residential prices based on those in nominally competitive wholesale markets.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-05-51.

in new window

Date of creation: 11 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-05-51
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Waterson, Michael, 2001. "The role of consumers in competition and competition policy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 607, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Monica Giulietti & Catherine Waddams Price & Michael Waterson, 2005. "Consumer Choice and Competition Policy: a Study of UK Energy Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 949-968, October.
  3. repec:bla:restud:v:44:y:1977:i:3:p:493-510 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
  5. Littlechild, S.C., 2000. "Why We Need Electricity Retailers: A Reply to Joskow on Wholesale Spot Price pass-through," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0008, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Brennan, Timothy J., 1994. "Markets, Information, and Benevolence," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 151-168, October.
  7. Steven C. Salop & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and ripoffs: a model of monopolistically competitive price dispersion," Special Studies Papers 94, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Chris M. Wilson & Catherine Waddams Price, 2005. "Irrationality in Consumers’ Switching Decisions: When More Firms May Mean Less Benefit," Industrial Organization 0509010, EconWPA.
  9. Flaim, Theresa, 2000. "The Big Retail "Bust": What Will It Take to Get True Competition?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 41-54, March.
  10. Zarnikau, Jay, 2005. "A review of efforts to restructure Texas' electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 15-25, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-05-51. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.