Discussion paper

DP6756 On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions

Several regulatory authorities worldwide have recently imposed forward contract obligations on electricity producers as a way to mitigate their market power. In this paper we investigate how such contractual obligations affect equilibrium bidding in electricity markets, or in any other auction-based market. For this purpose, we introduce forward contracts in a uniform-price multi-unit auction model with complete information. We find that forward contracts are pro-competitive when allocated to relatively large and efficient firms; however, they might be anti-competitive otherwise. We also show that an increase in contract volume need not always be welfare improving. From a methodological point of view, we aim at contributing to the literature on multi-unit auctions with discrete bids.


Fabra, N and M de Frutos (2008), ‘DP6756 On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 6756. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp6756