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Restructuring the Electricity Industry: Vertical Structure and the Risk of Rent Extraction

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  • Buehler, Stefan

    ()

  • Boom, Anette

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Abstract

We study the role of vertical structure in determining generating capacities and retail prices in the electricity industry. Allowing for uncertain demand, we compare three market configurations: (i) integrated monopoly, (ii) integrated duopoly with wholesale trade, and (iii) separated duopoly with wholesale trade. We find that equilibrium capacities and retail prices are such that welfare is highest (lowest) under separated (integrated) duopoly. The driving force behind this result is the risk of rent extraction faced by competing integrated generators on the wholesale market. Our analysis suggests that vertical structure plays an important role in determining generating capacities and retail prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Buehler, Stefan & Boom, Anette, 2014. "Restructuring the Electricity Industry: Vertical Structure and the Risk of Rent Extraction," Economics Working Paper Series 1437, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2014:37
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Boom, Anette, 2008. "Equilibrium Selection with Risk Dominance in a Multiple-unit Unit Price Auction," Working Papers 02-2008, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    2. Castro-Rodriguez, Fidel & Marín, Pedro L. & Siotis, Georges, 2009. "Capacity choices in liberalised electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2574-2581, July.
    3. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2004. "Intimidating Competitors � Endogenous Vertical Integration and Downstream Investment in Successive Oligopoly," SOI - Working Papers 0409, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2005.
    4. Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr & Petter Vegard Hansen, 2010. "Electricity Retailing in Norway," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-46.
    5. John Kwoka & Michael Pollitt & Sanem Sergici, 2010. "Divestiture policy and operating efficiency in U.S. electric power distribution," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 86-109, August.
    6. Anette Boom, "undated". "Investments in Electricity Generation Capacity under Different Market Structures with Price Responsive Demand," Papers 016, Departmental Working Papers.
    7. Severin Borenstein & James. Bushnell & Steven Stoft, 2000. "The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in A Deregulated Electricity Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 294-325, Summer.
    8. Boom, Anette, 2009. "Vertically integrated firms' investments in electricity generating capacities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 544-551, July.
    9. Bosco, Bruno & Parisio, Lucia & Pelagatti, Matteo, 2012. "Strategic bidding in vertically integrated power markets with an application to the Italian electricity auctions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2046-2057.
    10. Buehler Stefan & Schmutzler Armin, 2005. "Asymmetric Vertical Integration," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, January.
    11. de Frutos, María-Ángeles & Fabra, Natalia, 2012. "How to allocate forward contracts: The case of electricity markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 451-469.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity; Investments; Generating Capacities; Vertical Integration; Monopoly and Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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