Northwestern Events Calendar


WED@NICO SEMINAR: Steve Cicala, University of Chicago "Imperfect Markets versus Imperfect Regulation in U.S. Electricity Generation"

Steve Cicala

When: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Meghan Stagl   847.491.2527

Group: Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Category: Academic



Steve Cicala - Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy


Imperfect Markets versus Imperfect Regulation in U.S. Electricity Generation


This paper evaluates changes in electricity generation costs caused by the introduction of market mechanisms to allocate production in the United States. I use the staggered transition to markets from 1999-2012 to estimate the causal impact of liberalization using a differences-in-differences design on a comprehensive hourly panel of electricity demand, generators' costs, capacities, and output. I find that markets reduce production costs by 5% by reallocating production: Gains from trade across service areas increase by 55% based on a 25% increase in traded electricity, and costs from using uneconomical units fall 16%.

Speaker Bio:

Steve Cicala is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work focuses on the economics of regulation, particularly with respect to environmental and energy policy. 

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