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Estimation of Search Frictions in the British Electricity Market

Author

Listed:
  • Giulietti, Monica

    (Nottingham University Business School)

  • Waterson, Michael

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Wildenbeest, Matthijs R.

    (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University)

Abstract

This paper studies consumer search and pricing behaviour in the British domestic electricity market following its opening to competition in 1999. We develop a sequential search model in which an incumbent and an entrant group compete for consumers who nd it costly to obtain information on prices other than from their current supplier. We use a large data set on prices and input costs to structurally estimate the model. Our estimates indicate that consumer search costs must be relatively high in order to rationalize observed pricing patterns. We confront our stimates with observed switching behaviour and nd they match well. Keywords:

Suggested Citation

  • Giulietti, Monica & Waterson, Michael & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2010. "Estimation of Search Frictions in the British Electricity Market," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 940, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:940
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
    2. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    3. Monica Giulietti & Jesus Otero & Michael Waterson, 2010. "Pricing behaviour under competition in the UK electricity supply industry," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 478-503, July.
    4. Wilson, Chris M., 2012. "Market frictions: A unified model of search costs and switching costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1070-1086.
    5. Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2011. "An empirical model of search with vertically differentiated products," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(4), pages 729-757, December.
    6. Saul Lach, 2002. "Existence And Persistence Of Price Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 433-444, August.
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    12. Defeuilley, Christophe, 2009. "Retail competition in electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 377-386, February.
    13. Wilson, Chris M., 2010. "Ordered search and equilibrium obfuscation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 496-506, September.
    14. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ronayne, David, 2015. "Price Comparison Websites," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1056, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Shelegia, Sandro & Wilson, Chris, 2016. "A Generalized Model of Sales," EconStor Preprints 147411, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    3. Bose, Arup & Pal, Debashis & Sappington, David E.M., 2017. "Pricing to preclude sabotage in regulated industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 162-184.
    4. Stephen Davies, Catherine Waddams Price, and Chris M. Wilson, 2014. "Nonlinear Pricing and Tariff Differentiation: Evidence from the British Electricity Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    5. Heim, Sven, 2016. "Rockets and feathers: Asymmetric pricing and consumer search - Evidence from electricity retailing," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-070, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Wilson, Chris M., 2012. "Market frictions: A unified model of search costs and switching costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1070-1086.
    7. Klaus Gugler & Sven Heim & Mario Liebensteiner, 2016. "Non-Sequential Search, Competition and Price Dispersion in Retail Electricity," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp225, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Mirza, Faisal Mehmood & Bergland, Olvar, 2012. "Pass-through of wholesale price to the end user retail price in the Norwegian electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2003-2012.
    9. Matsumoto, Brett & Spence, Forrest, 2016. "Price beliefs and experience: Do consumers’ beliefs converge to empirical distributions with repeated purchases?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 243-254.
    10. Daglish, Toby, 2015. "Consumer Governance in Electricity Markets," Working Paper Series 4183, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    11. Brown, David P. & Eckert, Andrew, 2017. "The Effect of Default Rates on Retail Competition and Pricing Decisions of Competitive Retailers: The Case of Alberta," Working Papers 2017-6, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    electricity ; consumer search ; price competition JEL Classification: C14 ; D83 ; L13;

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