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Ownership Unbundling of Gas Transmission Networks - Empirical Evidence

  • Growitsch, Christian

    ()

    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Stronzik, Marcus

    ()

    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

The European Commission has intensively discussed the mandatory separation of natural gas transmission from production and services. However, economic theory is ambiguous on the price effects of vertical separation. In this paper, we empirically analyse the effect of ownership unbundling of gas transmission networks as the strongest form of vertical separation on the level of end-user prices. Therefore, we apply different dynamic estimators as system GMM and the bias-corrected least-squares dummy variable or LSDVC estimator on an unbalanced panel out of 18 EU countries over 19 years, allowing us to avoid the endogeneity problem and to estimate the long-run effects of regulation. We introduce a set of regulatory indicators as market entry regulation, ownership structure, vertical separation and market structure and account for structural and economic country specifics. Among these different estimators, we consistently find that ownership unbundling has no impact on natural gas end-user prices, while the more modest legal unbundling reduces them significantly. Furthermore, third-party access, market structure and privatisation show significant influence with the latter leading to higher price levels.

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Paper provided by Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln in its series EWI Working Papers with number 2011-7.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:ewikln:2011_007
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2002. "Regulation and Investment," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 549, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  11. M. Florio & R. Brau & R. Doronzo, 2008. "Gas industry reforms and consumers' prices in the European Union," Working Paper CRENoS 200816, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
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  14. Hattori, Toru & Tsutsui, Miki, 2004. "Economic impact of regulatory reforms in the electricity supply industry: a panel data analysis for OECD countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 823-832, April.
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