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Markets for Power in the United States: An Interim Assessment

Abstract:
The transition to competitive wholesale and retail markets for electricity in the U.S. has been a difficult and contentious process. This paper examines the progress that has been made in the evolution of wholesale and retail electricity market institutions. Various indicia of the performance of these market institutions are presented and discussed. Significant progress has been made on the wholesale competition front but major challenges must still be confronted. The framework for supporting retail competition has been less successful, especially for small customers. Empirical evidence suggests that well-designed competitive market reforms have led to performance improvements in a number of dimensions and benefited customers through lower retail prices.

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Energy Specializations: Electricity – Markets and Prices ; Electricity – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
D42 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Electricity markets, wholesale, retail, US, Market power, competition

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No1-2


Published in Volume 27, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.