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Agglomerative Magnets and Informal Regulatory Networks: Electricity Market Design Convergence in the USA and Continental Europe

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  • Jens Weinmann

Abstract

The absence of one broadly accepted design template for liberalised electricity markets induces regulatory competition and institutional diversity. Focussing on continental Europe and the USA, this analysis explores how agents and structures accelerate or impede the move to one standard market design in the electricity sector. It reveals that market design convergence in Europe is driven by the 'Florence Consensus,' a tripartite coalition between the European Commission fostering European integration and the internal market, informal regulatory networks between grid operators, standardisation authorities and regulators, who have been coordinating their actions in the 'Florence Forum,' and epistemic communities exemplified in the Florence School of Regulation. In contrast, the United States' Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacks support among politicians, many states' public utility commissions, the neo-liberal intelligentsia and even industrial lobbying groups to effectively push for a standardised market design. However, design convergence in the USA may be induced by the gradual expansion of multi-state markets operated by regional transmission organisations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Weinmann, 2007. "Agglomerative Magnets and Informal Regulatory Networks: Electricity Market Design Convergence in the USA and Continental Europe," RSCAS Working Papers 2007/15, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2007/15
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    Keywords

    Electricity; Deregulation; Regulatory Competition; Policy Diffusion;

    JEL classification:

    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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