Deregulation, Innovation and Market Liberalization: Electricity Regulation in a Continually Evolving Environment, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Deregulation, Innovation and Market Liberalization

Electricity Regulation in a Continually Evolving Environment, 1st Edition

By L. Lynne Kiesling


208 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Over the past 50 years the US economy has experienced economic dynamism and technological change at a dizzying pace, driven substantially by innovation in digital communication technology. This dynamism has had limited effects in the electricity industry, and institutional change within the industry to adapt to these changes has been variable. Many states in the U.S. do not participate in open wholesale markets, and even more states have either no retail markets or have implemented such a restricted and politicized version of retail markets that potential retail market entrants still face substantial entry barriers. This book explores institutional design and regulatory policies in the US electricity industry that can adapt to unknown and changing conditions produced by economic, social, and technological change.

Whereas the dominant regulatory paradigm has traditionally been centralized economic and physical control based on natural monopoly theory and power systems engineering, the ideas presented and synthesized by Kiesling compose a different paradigm – decentralized economic and physical coordination through contracts, transactions, price signals, and integrated intertemporal wholesale and retail markets. Digital communication technology, and its increasing pervasiveness and affordability, make this decentralized coordination possible. Kiesling argues that with decentralized coordination, distributed agents themselves control part of the system, and in aggregate their actions produce order. Technology makes this order feasible, but the institutions, the rules governing the interaction of agents in the system, contribute substantially to whether or not order can emerge from this decentralized coordination process.


"Kiesling makes a strong case for a radical rethinking of electricity regulation based on insights from the Austrian School, complexity science, and the new institutional economics. … A timely volume for those interested in the electricity industry." – CHOICE (April 2009); R. C. Singleton, University of Puget Sound

Table of Contents

TABLE of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: A Brief History and Theory of Electric Utility Regulation in the United States

Chapter 3: A Decentralized Coordination Framework for Analyzing Regulatory Institutions

Chapter 4: Rethinking Retail Regulation: Enabling Active Demand and Retail Choice

Chapter 5: Organizational Form and the Wires

Chapter 6: Network Reliability and Short-Term Security: Decentralized Coordination Using Demand as a Resource

Chapter 7: Reliability, Resource Adequacy, and Capacity Markets

Chapter 8: Is Network Reliability A Public Good?

Chapter 9: Facilitating Technology-Enabled Decentralized Coordination

About the Author

L. Lynne Kiesling is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Business Organizations and Networks

How do firms work? What networks are involved in driving organizations forward? This series presents titles which look at the dynamics of organizations and the particular effects of different types of business networks. It covers topics such as:

  • Industrial networks
  • Transaction cost economics
  • Organization theory
  • Change and information
  • New theories of the firm.

It considers both the economic, cultural and environmental factors that govern the success and failure of business networks and organizations.

Learn more…

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