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The Welfare Effects of Raising Household Energy Prices in Poland

Caroline L. Freund and Christine I. Wallich

Year: 1996
Volume: Volume17
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No1-4
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We examine the welfare effects from increasing household energy prices in Poland. Subsidizing household energy prices, common in the transition economies, is shown to be highly regressive. The wealthy spend a larger portion of their income on energy and consume more energy in absolute terms. We therefore rule out the oft-used social welfare argument for delaying household energy price increases. Raising prices, while targeting relief to the poor through a social assistance program is the first-best response. However, if governments want to ease the adjustment, several options are open, including: in-kind transfers to the poor, vouchers, in-cash transfers, and lifeline pricing for electricity. Our simulations show that if raising prices to efficient levels is not politically feasible at present and social assistance targeting is sufficiently weak, it may be socially better to use lifeline pricing and a large price increase than an overall, but smaller, price increase.

Modeling and Analysis of the International Steam Coal Trade

Clemens Haftendorn and Franziska Holz

Year: 2010
Volume: Volume 31
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-No4-10
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Coal continues to play an important role in the global energy sector and with the increase in international trade a global market for steam coal has de�veloped. We investigate market structure and recent price developments with a numerical modeling approach and develop two partial equilibrium models, a quantity based model and a model additionally incorporating energy values. We compare two possible market structure scenarios for the years 2005 and 2006: perfect competition and Cournot competition. Our chief finding is that, for both models, the simulation of perfect competition better fits the observed real market flows and prices. However, we also note that spatial price discrimination and a time lag in the pricing-in of capacity constraints are additional mechanisms in the market. From a modeling perspective, relying only on coal quantities leads to distortions in estimated trade flows, suggesting that an energy-based model is superior.

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