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Do markets make good commissioners?: A quasi-experimental analysis of retail electric restructuring in Ohio

  • Noah Dormady (a1), Zhongnan Jiang (a1) and Matthew Hoyt (a2)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Empirical support for the purported benefits of retail electric deregulation is mixed at best. Prior studies that identify states as simply “retail deregulated” overlook complex policy environments in which deregulation is implemented by regulators with a high degree of discretion. Prior studies also rely on Energy Information Administration data that do not account for core regulatory interventions that can take place during the process of implementing deregulation. Using robust time series household final bill survey data from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, this article provides a quasi-experimental analysis of the price impacts of retail electric restructuring in Ohio. The results suggest that residential electricity prices have increased following retail restructuring in all service territories in Ohio, with significant favourable welfare effects observed only in the Cincinnati area, where key policy implementation stages were not circumvented.

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