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[en] Recent models of the oil market have continued to employ dominant firm/monopoly type assumptions regarding OPEC behaviour. Other recent studies have highlighted the importance of the internal behaviour of OPEC. The paper attempts to provide a framework within which these approaches are compatible, and which provides a significant role for investment 'needs' as a key variable in determining price changes. (author)
[en] During the last twenty years, the Spanish petrol market has undergone an intensive restructuration process; it has changed from being a state-owned monopoly to total liberalization and privatization. This liberalization process was accompanied by measures that facilitated the creation of a 'national champion,' the Repsol Group, which is a huge, vertically integrated company with a high market share in all the industry's segments. Using a dynamic model, this paper analyses whether the prices established by companies in the Spanish gasoline market, after the restructuration process, fits with a tacit collusion equilibrium. The empirical results show that a strategic behaviour of companies occurs and is compatible with a tacit collusion price strategy. So, the restructuration process does not seem to have introduced effective competition into the Spanish gasoline market.
[en] This report discusses the strong points and weak points of the income regulation imposed on local and regional network owners in Norway in 1997. This regulation is based on a formula containing the variables: initial income or initial cost, efficiency requirement, and increase of transported energy. These variables are important for the determination of the income and are discussed. The report discusses the problems that may arise from an individual income limit if socio-economically desirable measures are not commercially profitable. It is found that monopoly regulation based on income limits is a correct principle, but there are shortcomings in the current way of determining the income limit and improved methods should be worked out
[en] In a paper by Rodriguez and Williams (Energy Studies Review, 1993), the case for a single-pool world oil market is put forward. Criticisms of the assumptions and conclusions are offered. To counter the paper's assumption that antitrust is the relevant metric for measuring the extent of geographic markets, it is argued that for energy security policy decisions, it is the economic market which matters. The paper does show that the world oil market is indeed unified in the long run, but this is not relevant to the short term, the relevant time-frame for energy security decisions. The paper's choice of spot market data for its cointegration analysis is also criticized by using several examples of pricing decisions that would not make sense in a unified world market but which do make sense in a regionalized market. It is also unclear how representative spot prices are of the oil market. Finally, the conclusions of the paper that favor policies focusing on secure vs insecure import sources and supplier diversification are seen as unsupported by the paper's statistical findings. 15 refs
[en] The author discusses the emerging competitive situation in the electric power industry as deregulation of electric utilities looms on the horizon. The paper supports this change, and the competition it will bring, but urges caution as changes are instituted, and the regulatory bodies decide how and how much to free, and at what rates. The reason for his urge for caution comes from historical experience of other industries, which were smaller and had less direct impact on every American
[en] In this paper, based on the utility preferential attachment, we propose a new unified model to generate different network topologies such as scale-free, small-world and random networks. Moreover, a new network structure named super scale network is found, which has monopoly characteristic in our simulation experiments. Finally, the characteristics of this new network are given.
[en] This paper documented the electricity reform process in Cameroon which, like many sub-Saharan countries, was under pressure to sell its public utilities. In 2001, AES Corporation, as a sole bidder, purchased Sonel, the state-owned Cameroonian electricity company. Since then, consumers have been faced with regular blackouts and tariff increases. Although some investment has been made in new generation capacity, the country's productivity decreased due to deterioration in the quality of electricity service. The paper identified many issues responsible for Cameroon's electricity problems. These include policy incoherence and lack of historical evidence supporting full-scale privatization. The author assessed the reform from a general set of criteria and developed a general framework to help understand what type of electricity market reforms are desirable in Cameroon and other sub-Saharan countries. This paper demonstrated that due to the weak institutions in Cameroon, competition and private ownership cannot be fully relied on. Recommendations were proposed to move beyond the many failures of privatization. It was suggested that transparency should be monitored by some independent international body when local institutions cannot do so. It was also noted that other countries can learn from the Cameroonian experience. refs., tabs., figs
[en] In this article, we test for subadditivity in the cost structure associated with transporting natural gas by Trans-Canada Pipelines Ltd. and measure for possible cost savings from increased competition that could be realized by removing the monopoly status granted by the National Energy Board. In measuring subadditivity, we apply both the Baumol et al. (Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure (1982)) and the Evans and Heckman (Am. Econ. Rev. 764 (1984) 613) procedures. Our results show evidence of subadditivity in the cost structure, and consequently, the possible benefits from increased competition resulting from splitting up the monopoly could be offset by the sacrifice of scale efficiencies
[en] Several restructurings of Vermont's electric utilities were attempted earlier. At best, the successes were compromises, whose benefits were a fraction of what might have been achieved. At worst, monopoly power triumphed outright, leaving Vermonters and Vermont economy in thrall to distant energy and financial forces. To understand the interplay between today's restructuring and the Vermont economy, the author examines those earlier restructuring. They establish that electricity really is different from other industries, not just because it cannot be stored or because the strandable investment is so much larger or the monopoly linkages are so much more extensive. More important is the extent of the electric industry's place in the national political consciousness and its environmental impact
[en] Highlights: •A monopoly with isoelastic demand function is studied. •Reduced rationality monopolist uses gradient adjustment. •If marginal cost is small, increasing elasticity leads to stable dynamics. •For large marginal cost, dynamic can be unstable for both small and large elasticity. -- Abstract: We study a monopolistic market characterized by a constant elasticity demand function, in which the firm technology is described by a linear total cost function. The firm is assumed to be boundedly rational and to follow a gradient rule to adjust the production level in order to optimize its profit. We focus on what happens on varying the price elasticity of demand, studying the effect on the equilibrium stability. We prove that, depending on the relation between the market size and the marginal cost, two different scenarios are possible, in which elasticity has either a stabilizing or a mixed stabilizing/destabilizing effect