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Strategic pricing, market entry and competition: Evidence from German electricity submarkets

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  • Nikogosian, Vigen
  • Veith, Tobias

Abstract

In German electricity submarkets for residential customers standard contracts offered by former monopolists are the more costly option for customers who have not switched to an alternative contract yet. As most German households are served with this contract type we follow the Limit Pricing theory and show that standard contract price could be used as an instrument to affect competition, in terms of market entries, in the related market. We theoretically derive the optimal price-setting behavior of a price-discriminating incumbent provider and show that under particular circumstances reducing the standard contract price could increases the incumbent's profit. We then analyze our theoretical findings employing data for German retail electricity submarkets using simultaneous equation approach and can find support for our hypothesis. In particular for customers with low consumption and high relative switching costs the results show that the standard contract price can affect market entry whereas for high consumption level customers we have to reject our hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikogosian, Vigen & Veith, Tobias, 2011. "Strategic pricing, market entry and competition: Evidence from German electricity submarkets," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-345, May.
    2. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-459, March.
    3. Evens Salies and Catherine Waddams Price, 2004. "Charges, Costs and Market Power: the Deregulated UK Electricity Retail Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 19-36.
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    5. Jean Marie Abraham & Martin Gaynor & William B Vogt, 2003. "Entry and Competition in Local Hospital Markets," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/088, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    6. Riechmann, Christoph, 2000. "Strategic pricing of grid access under partial price-caps -- electricity distribution in England and Wales," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 187-207, April.
    7. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1990. "Entry in Monopoly Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 531-553.
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    13. Thomas Gehrig & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Differentiation-Induced Switching Costs and Poaching," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 635-655, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hunold, Matthias & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Licht, Georg & Nikogosian, Vigen & Stenzel, André & Ullrich, Hannes & Wolf, Christoph, 2011. "Modernisierung der Konzentrationsberichterstattung: Endbericht," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110525.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    barrier to entry; first-mover advantage; price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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