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Have Customers Benefited from Electricity Retail Competition?

  • Su, Xuejuan


    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

Compared to traditional cost-of-service (COS) regulation, electricity retail competition may lead to lower costs but higher markups. Thus, the net effect on electricity retail prices is ambiguous. This paper uses a difference-in-difference approach to estimate the impact. The results suggest that in restructured states, only residental customers have benefited from significantly lower prices but not commercial or industrial customers. Furthermore, this benefit is transitory and disappears in the long run. Overall, retail compettion does not seem to deliver lower electricity prices to retail customers across the board or over time.

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Paper provided by University of Alberta, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-21.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
Date of revision: 01 Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2012_021
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  1. Bushnell, James & Mansur, Erin T., 2005. "Consumption Under Noisy Price Signals: A Study of Electricity Retail Rate Deregulation in San Diego," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13142, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Apt, Jay, 2005. "Competition Has Not Lowered U.S. Industrial Electricity Prices," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 52-61, March.
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  11. Andrew N. Kleit & Dek Terrell, 2001. "Measuring Potential Efficiency Gains From Deregulation Of Electricity Generation: A Bayesian Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 523-530, August.
  12. Joskow, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Retail Electricity Competition," IDEI Working Papers 311, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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  16. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James, 1999. "An Empirical Analysis of the Potential for Market Power in California's Electricity Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 285-323, September.
  17. Bushnell, James, 2007. "Oligopoly Equilibria in Electricity Contract Markets," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13135, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  18. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  19. Ng, Charles K & Seabright, Paul, 2001. "Competition, Privatisation and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from the Airline Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 591-619, July.
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  21. Meredith Fowlie, 2010. "Emissions Trading, Electricity Restructuring, and Investment in Pollution Abatement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 837-69, June.
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  33. Severin Borenstein & Stephen Holland, 2005. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets with Time-Invariant Retail Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 469-493, Autumn.
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