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Using restructured electricity supply industries to understand oligopoly industry outcomes

  • Design


This paper argues that many determinants of generic oligopoly market outcomes can be studied in bid-based wholesale electricity markets under much weaker assumptions than in other oligopoly industries because of their rich data, regulatory history, and clearly specified market rules. These methods are compared to those used in existing studies of oligopolistic industries where the best data available are market-clearing prices and quantities and demand and cost shifters. The extent to which the methods used in bid-based wholesale electricity markets generalize conventional methods is explained in detail and major applications of these techniques are summarized. Lessons from the study of wholesale electricity markets for the monitoring and design of other oligopolistic markets are also discussed.

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