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Vertical and Horizontal Scope Economies in the Regulated U.S. Electric Power Industry


  • The authors acknowledge financial support from the American Public Power Association, Fundación Repsol-YPF and the Spanish Ministry of Innovation and Science (project ECO2010-21242-C03-03).


This paper investigates vertical economies between generation and distribution of electric power, and horizontal economies between different types of power generation in the U.S. electric utility industry. Our quadratic cost function model includes three generation output measures (hydro, nuclear and fossil fuels), which allows us to analyze the effect that generation mix has on vertical economies. Our results provide (sample mean) estimates of vertical economies of 8.1% and horizontal economies of 5.4%. An extensive sensitivity analysis is used to show how the scope measures vary across alternative model specifications and firm types.