DP6756 | On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions

Publication Date

20/03/2008

JEL Code(s)

Keyword(s)

Programme Area(s)

Abstract

Several regulatory authorities worldwide have recently imposed forward contract obligations on electricity producers as a way to mitigate their market power. In this paper we investigate how such contractual obligations affect equilibrium bidding in electricity markets, or in any other auction-based market. For this purpose, we introduce forward contracts in a uniform-price multi-unit auction model with complete information. We find that forward contracts are pro-competitive when allocated to relatively large and efficient firms; however, they might be anti-competitive otherwise. We also show that an increase in contract volume need not always be welfare improving. From a methodological point of view, we aim at contributing to the literature on multi-unit auctions with discrete bids.