We examine the environmental implications of market structure using the exogenous variation in the price of natural gas paid by U.S. electric power producers in the aftermath of the Shale Boom. We find that electric power producers were more responsive to fuel prices in vertically integrated markets than in restructured markets, and we explore the underlying factors driving this heterogeneity in responses. Although differences in the capacity of the most efficient gas power plants between the two market structures are the most important factor, we consider others. The heterogeneity in the response of power plant operators to fuel prices has material implications for carbon dioxide emissions.

Coal displacement, Electricity markets, Emissions, Environment, Market structure, Natural gas, Utilities
International Journal of Industrial Organization
Department of Economics

Knittel, C.R. (Christopher R.), Metaxoglou, K, & Trindade, A. (André). (2019). Environmental implications of market structure: Shale gas and electricity markets. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 63, 511–550. doi:10.1016/j.ijindorg.2018.12.004