Now tweeting (nearly) daily energy news/blogs/research at @BorensteinS
Blogging at the Energy Institute at Haas blog
Last Updated August 6, 2018
--- Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research
Click here for bio, CV and photos
Office Hours: Meetings are by appointment (please email me).
Haas School of Business
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1900
Energy Institute at Haas
319 Giannini Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5180
"The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits", NBER Tax Policy and the Economy, 2016, 30(1), 191-234 (joint with Lucas Davis).
“The Power and the Limits of Industrial Organization”, Review of Industrial Organization, May 2016.
“The U.S. Electricity Industry After 20 Years of Restructuring”, Annual Review of Economics, 2015, 7 (joint with James Bushnell)
"A Microeconomic Framework for Evaluating Energy Efficiency Rebound And Some Implications", Energy Journal, January 2015, 36(1), pp. 1-21..
"The Incidence of an Oil Glut: Who Benefits from Cheap Crude Oil in the Midwest?" (with Ryan Kellogg), Energy Journal, January 2014, 35(1), pp. 15-33.
“Effective and Equitable Adoption of Opt-In Residential Dynamic Electricity Pricing,”. Review of Industrial Organization ,March 2013 him, 42(2), pp. 127-160.
“The Private and Public Economics of Renewable Electricity Generation”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(1), Winter 2012.
"Career Concerns, Inaction and Market Inefficiency: Evidence from utility regulation" (with Meghan Busse and Ryan Kellogg), Journal of Industrial Economics, 60(2), June 2012.
"The Redistributional Impact of Non-Linear Electricity Pricing", American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(3), August 2012.
"The Equity and Efficiency of Two-Part Tariffs in U.S. Natural Gas Markets" (with Lucas Davis), Journal of Law and Economics, 55(1), February 2012.
“Why Can’t U.S. Airlines Make Money?”, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 101(5), May 2011. A long version is available as “On the Persistent Financial Losses of U.S. Airlines: A Preliminary Exploration,” NBER Working Paper #16744, January 2011.
"Inefficiencies and Market Power in Financial Arbitrage: A Study of California's Electricity Markets" (with James Bushnell, Christopher Knittel, and Catherine Wolfram), Journal of Industrial Economics, 56(2), June 2008.
"Do Investors Forecast Fat Firms? Evidence from the Gold Mining Industry,'' (with Joe Farrell), Rand Journal of Economics, 38(Autumn 2007).
"Wealth Transfers Among Large Customers from Implementing Real-Time Retail Electricity Pricing," The Energy Journal, 28(2), 2007.
"Customer Risk from Real-Time Retail Electricity Pricing: Bill Volatility and Hedgability," The Energy Journal, 28(2), 2007.
"The Long-Run Efficiency of Real-Time Electricity Pricing," Energy Journal, 26(3) (2005).
"The Impact of Bankruptcy on Airline Service Levels" (with Nancy Rose ), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 93(May 2003).
“Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market,'' (with James Bushnell and Frank Wolak), American Economic Review, 92(December 2002).
“Sticky Prices, Inventories, and Market Power in Wholesale Gasoline Markets'' (with Andrea Shepard ), Rand Journal of Economics, 33(Spring 2002).
"The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in a Deregulated Electricity Industry" (with James Bushnell and Steven Stoft), Rand Journal of Economics, 31(Summer 2000). (Also, some brief Supplementary Materials are available)
"Exercising Market Power in Proprietary Aftermarkets," (with Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and Janet Netz), Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 9(Summer 2000).
"Market Power in Electricity Markets: Beyond Concentration Measures" (with James Bushnell and Christopher R. Knittel), Energy Journal, 20(4, 1999).
"An Empirical Analysis of Market Power in a Deregulated California Electricity Market" (with James Bushnell), Journal of Industrial Economics, 47(September 1999).
"Why Do All the Flights Leave at 8 a.m.? Competition and Departure-Time Differentiation in Airline Markets" (with Janet Netz), International Journal of Industrial Organization, 17(July 1999).
"Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?" (with Colin Cameron and Richard Gilbert), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(February 1997).
"Settling for Coupons: Discount Contracts as Compensation and Punishment in Antitrust Lawsuits," Journal of Law and Economics, 39(October 1996).
"Bankruptcy and Pricing Behavior in U.S. Airline Markets" (with Nancy Rose), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 85(May 1995).
"Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," (with Nancy Rose), Journal of Political Economy, 103(August 1994).
"The Evolution of U.S. Airline Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 7(Spring 1992).
"The Dominant-Firm Advantage in Multi-Product Industries: Evidence from the U.S. Airlines," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(November 1991).
"Carrot and Yardstick Regulation: Enhancing Market Performance with Output Prizes," (with Mark Bagnoli), Journal of Regulatory Economics, 3(June 1991).
"Airline Mergers, Airport Dominance, and Market Power," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 80 (May 1990).
"How to Carve a Medical Degree: Human Capital Assets in Divorce Settlements," (with Paul Courant), American Economic Review, 79(December 1989).
"The Economics of Costly Risk Sorting in Competitive Insurance Markets," International Review of Law and Economics, 9(June 1989).
"Market Incentives for Safe Commercial Airline Operation," (with Martin Zimmerman), American Economic Review, 78(December 1988).
"On the Efficiency of Competitive Markets for Operating Licenses," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 103(May 1988).
Smug About Your Solar Rooftop? Not So Fast, Los Angeles Times, January 20, 2016
Is electricity’s future really in the solar panels on your roof? Orange County Register, August 2, 2015. (version also published in Modesto Bee)
“Learning to love paying 10 cents more per gallon” (awful headline courtesy of LA Times, not me), Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2014. For a more detailed discussion of the impact of cap-and-trade on California gasoline prices, see my blog post on the topic.
“An Economic Perspective on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan”, (with Meredith Fowlie, Lawrence Goulder, Matthew Kotchen,(lead authors) James Bushnell, Lucas Davis, Michael Greenstone, Charles Kolstad, Christopher Knittel, Robert Stavins, Michael Wara, Frank Wolak, and Catherine Wolfram), Science 14 November 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6211 pp. 815-816. Associated comments filed with Environmental Protection Agency
“Three Legacy Airlines and Southwest. Now What?”, Milken Institute Review (Trends section), Second Quarter, 2014.
"How Airline Markets Work...Or Do They? Regulatory Reform in the Airline Industry," (with Nancy Rose) in N. Rose ed., Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, University of Chicago Press, 2014.
“Seeking a fix for California’s gasoline market problems,” Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2012.
“Why the U.S. Airlines Need to Adapt to a Slow-Growth Future”, Bloomberg Business Class, June 4, 2012.
“The U.S. Can’t Control the World Oil Markets”, U.S. News & World Report, Debate Club, March 2, 2012.
“Making the Wrong Case for Renewable Energy”, Bloomberg Business Class, February 13, 2012.
"Markets for Anthropogenic Carbon Within the Larger Carbon Cycle", in The Design and Implementation of U.S. Carbon Policy, Don Fullerton and Catherine Wolfram eds., National Bureau of Economic Research and University of Chicago Press, 2012.
“California Solar Scorecard: Invest in Technologies, Not Subsidies” New York Times, Room for Debate, April 21, 2010.
Conflict and Climate: Navigating the Global Oil Market, Milken Institute
Review, 4th Quarter 2008.
(a more detailed version of the paper is available at "Cost, Conflict and Climate: U.S. Challenges in the World Oil Market", Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #177, University of California Energy Institute, Revised June 2008.)
"Will Solar PV Save You Money?", San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, 2008
Testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on mergers in the oil and gasoline industry, March 14, 2006
"Mere drops in the world's oil barrel", San Jose Mercury News, June 2, 2005
"Solar Initiative Has a Dark Side", San Jose Mercury News, August 20, 2004
"What's Wrong with Regulating Gasoline Prices?", Sacramento Bee, September 12, 2003
"Power Politics Hurts Consumers," Financial Times, August 19, 2003.
"Time-Varying Retail Electricity Prices: Theory and Practice,'' in Griffin and Puller, eds., Electricity Deregulation: Choices and Challenges, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
"Government Aid to Airlines is Just Excess Baggage for Taxpayers ," Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2002.
"Electricity Pricing Should Clue Consumers to Judicious Use," Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2001.
"California consumers haven't seen benefits of deregulating the electrical industry yet -- What went wrong?," (with James Bushnell) San Jose Mercury News, August 27, 2000.
"Understanding Competitive Pricing and Market Power in Wholesale Electricity Markets," Electricity Journal, July 2000.
"Electricity Restructuring: Deregulation or Reregulation?," (with James Bushnell) Regulation, Vol. 23 No.2, 2000.
"California 'Lessons' derive from a Mischaracterization of our work" (with James Bushnell), letter in Electricity Journal, March 2000.
Comments on Kole and Lehn's "Workforce Integration and the Dissipation of Value in Mergers: The Case of USAir's Acquisition of Piedmont Aviation," in Steven Kaplan, ed., Mergers and Productivity, University of Chicago Press, 2000.
"Rapid Communication and Price Fixing: The Airline Tariff Publishing Company Case," in John E. Kwoka and Lawrence J. White eds., The Antitrust Revolution: The Role of Economics, Oxford University Press, 3rd Edition, 1998.
"Airline Deregulation," (with Nancy Rose) entry in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Law and Economics, New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1998.
"Repeat-Buyer Programs in Network Industries," in Werner Sichel ed., Networks, Infrastructure, and The New Task for Regulation, University of Michigan Press, 1996.
"Uncle Sam at the Gas Pump: Causes and Consequences of Regulating Gasoline Distribution," (with Richard Gilbert), Regulation, Spring 1993.
"The Economics of Customer Lock-In and Market Power in the Service Business," (with Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and Janet Netz) in Patrick T. Harker, ed. The Service Productivity and Quality Challenge, Kluwer Academic Press, 1994.
"USAir in 1986," (with Andrea Shepard), Stanford Graduate School of Business Strategic Management Case S-SM-4, January 1993.
"Prospects for Competitive European Air Travel," in W.J. Adams, ed. Singular Europe: Economy and Polity of the European Community After 1992, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992.
"Dissipating the Airline Deregulation Dividend: The Decline of Competition at Hub Airports," Regulation, Fall 1990 (and reply letter in Winter 1991 issue).
"Losses in Airline Demand and Value Following Accidents," (with Martin Zimmerman) in Moses and Savage, eds., Transportation Safety in an Age of Deregulation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
"USAir Merger Promises Higher Fares, Less Competition," Hartford Courant, January 12, 1988.
"High Air Fares: Don't Blame Deregulation," Washington Post, August 25, 1987.
Energy Blog Posts
August 6, 2018 Should California Keep Its Oil in the Ground? The direct costs would be large. The enrichment of world oil producers would be even larger.
July 2, 2018 What Does Daylight Saving Time Really Save? DST can coordinate societal shifts to better use daylight…but at a cost
May 29, 2018 Try Everything? Really? GHG policy leadership and technology development matters, but such claims deserve scrutiny
April 2, 2018, Cap-and-Trade and Innovation, Pricing carbon will help drive R&D, but the market will still be bumpy
February 26, 2018, California’s Mystery Gasoline Surcharge Continues, It’s time for lawmakers to make the $3 billion per year puzzle a priority
January 2, 2018, California’s Carbon Cap is Not in Jeopardy, Because It’s Not Really a Cap, Unused allowances are not an existential threat to the state’s market for greenhouse gases
November 27, 2017, The Cushion in Coal Markets that Will Make it Harder to Kill, Fat margins in rail shipping are likely to partially absorb a price on carbon
October 30, 2017, California’s Real Gasoline “Tax” Problem, A mystery surcharge is costing Californians $3 billion per year
September 5, 2017, Peak Electricity Pricing 2.0, It’s time to make critical peak pricing more flexible
July 31, 2017, Making Policy in an Uncertain World, Evidence-based policy means adjusting our beliefs based on new information.
June 19, 2017, Creative Pie Slicing to Address Climate Policy Opposition, Compensating the biggest losers can make the road to pricing GHGs less bumpy
May 15, 2017, One Stone, No Birds, Facility-level GHG caps would undermine climate policies and hurt California’s economy
April 3, 2017, Missing Money, Transitioning to renewable generation is challenging electricity market designs
February 27, 2017, What Do We Want From California Climate Policy?, We should focus on inventing, demonstrating and measuring global solutions
Fight Both Local and Global Pollutants, But Separately, January 17, 2017
Electricity Rate Design for the Real World, November 14, 2016
Trash Those Incandescent Bulbs Today!, October 3, 2016
Fixing a Major Flaw in Cap and Trade, August 15, 2016
Who’s Stranded Now?, July 18, 2016
Is Distributed Generation the Answer to Regulatory Dysfunction?, April 25, 2016
Driving Taxes for the 21st Century, March 21, 2016
Is “Community Choice” Electricity Supply a Solution or a Problem?, February 8, 2016
Double Counting Virtue, January 11, 2016
Billing Tweaks Don’t Make Net Metering Good Policy, January 4, 2016
If You Like Your Time-Invariant Electricity Price, You Can Keep It, November 16, 2015
Why Are California’s Gasoline Prices So High?, September 28, 2015
The Decline of Sloppy Electricity Rate Making, August 24, 2015
Winners and Losers from Flattening Tiered Electricity Prices, June 29, 2015
What Put California at the Top of Residential Solar?, May 26, 2015
What’s a University to do about Climate Change?, December 8, 2014
What’s so Great about Fixed Charges?, November 3, 2014
Rationalizing California’s Residential Electricity Rates, September 29, 2014
What’s the Worst that Could Happen?, July 7, 2014
Money for Nothing? May 12, 2014
It's Time to Refocus California's Climate Strategy, April 7, 2014
In Defense of Picking Winners, March 3, 2014
What wood smoke has taught me about fighting climate change, February 3, 2014
Understanding energy usage starts at home, January 1, 2014
Is demonizing "big carbon" a strategy or a copout?, December 16, 2013
Rate design wars are the sound of utilities taking residential PV seriously, November 12, 2013
California’s Cap-and-Trade Market Still Needs a Price Ceiling, September 30, 2013
Learning and Forgetting the Wisdom of Coase, September 9, 2013
Bad Incentives For Green Choices, July 8, 2013
Pandora’s Promises – kept and unkept, June 19, 2013
Putting a Collar on Carbon Prices, May 28, 2013
Peak electricity pricing can save you money, April 29, 2013
“We’re for Import free trade, just not Export free trade”, April 14, 2013
What’s Keystone XL Got To Do With It?, February 4, 2013
California holds its first cap and trade auction, November 21, 2012
Are Fossil Fuel Subsidies Really the Problem for Renewables?, October 28, 2012
What (if anything) to do about California gasoline price spikes, October 7, 2012
In Praise of Energy Efficiency Rebound, September 30, 2012
Moving the Energy Debate Away From Nonsense, August 5, 2012
Speculation is not the cause of high oil prices, May 6, 2012
Bad Energy Policy from Both Ends of the Political Spectrum, February 19, 2012
``The Competitive Strategy Game,'' Version 3.50, January 2011. A computer simulation of competition among firms for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in economics and business. Version 3.50 is designed with an option to run the CSG through the CSG Home Page. Since Version 1.0, released in January 1994, the CSG has been used in undergrad, MBA, or Ph.D. level courses at more than 80 universities and colleges in 22 countries on 5 continents. Here is a list of those institutions.
“Expecting the Unexpected: Emissions Uncertainty and Environmental Market Design”, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #274, Revised June 2018 (joint with James Bushnell, Frank A. Wolak, and Matthew Zaragoza-Watkins) (in submission).
"Report of the Market Simulation Group on Competitive Supply/Demand Balance in the California Allowance Market and the Potential for Market Manipulation", Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #251, U.C. Berkeley, July 2014 (joint with James Bushnell, Frank A. Wolak, and Matthew Zaragoza-Watkins).
"An Index of Inter-City Business Travel for Use in Domestic Airline Competition Analysis", U.C. Berkeley, June 2010.
“Regional and Income Distribution Effects of Alternative Retail Electricity Tariffs”, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #225, U.C. Berkeley, October 2011.
"The Implications of a Gasoline Price Floor for the California Budget and Greenhouse Gas Emissions", Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #182, University of California Energy Institute, November 2008.
"The Market Value and Cost of Solar Photovoltaic Electricity Production", Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #176, University of California Energy Institute, January 2008. A number of criticisms of this paper have been circulated by solar PV advocates and I have written a response, click here for the lively exchange.
"Electricity Rate Structures and the Economics of Solar PV: Could Mandatory Time-of-Use Rates Undermine California’s Solar Photovoltaic Subsidies? Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #172, University of California Energy Institute, September 2007. (Also Available: A Solar PV Cost Calculator excel file. See the paper for description of its use.)
"Valuing the Time-Varying Electricity Production of Solar Photovoltaic Cells," Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #142, University of California Energy Institute, March 2005.
"Retail Policies and Competition in the Gasoline Industry," (with James Bushnell) Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #144, University of California Energy Institute, May 2005.
"Market Power in California's Gasoline Market," (with James Bushnell and Matthew Lewis) Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #132, University of California Energy Institute, May 2004.
"Investment Efficiency in Competitive Electricity Markets With and Without Time-Varying Retail Prices," (with Stephen Holland), Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #106, University of California Energy Institute, November 2002.
"U.S. Domestic Airline Pricing, 1995-2004," Competition Policy Center Working Paper CPC05-48, University of California, Berkeley, January 2005.
"Price Incentives for Fuel Switching: Did Price Differences Slow the Phase-Out of Leaded Gasoline?" POWER Working Paper #PWP-010, University of California Energy Institute, April 1993.
1979-1983 --- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D. Economics
1977-1978 --- University of California, Berkeley, A.B. Economics
1974-1976 --- Carleton College, Northfield, MN
1971-1974 --- Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA
2000-present -- E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
1996-2000 --- Professor of Business, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
1994-1996 --- Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of California, Davis
1994 --- Visiting Professor of Strategic Management (Winter), Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
1994 --- Visiting Associate Professor of Business Economics (March), Distance learning MBA for Cathay Pacific Airlines, School of Business Administration, University of Michigan
1992,1993 --- Visiting Associate Professor of Business Economics (Autumn), Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
1990-1994 --- Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of California, Davis
1989-1990 --- Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of California, Davis
1983-1990 --- Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Department of Economics and Institute of Public Policy Studies, University of Michigan
2016-present – Member, Board of Directors, Association of Environmental and Resource Economics
2015-present—Member, Advisory Council, Bay Area Air Quality Management District
2014-present – Chair (since 9/2015), Petroleum Market Advisory Committee, California Energy Commissions
2014-2016 – Co-editor, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
2012-2013 -- Member, Emissions Market Assessment Committee, California Air Resources Board
2010-2012 -- Member, Supply and Infrastructure Task Group of the National Petroleum Council's Future of Transportation Fuels Study (commissioned by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu)
2010-2011 -- Member, U.S. Department of Transportation Future of Aviation Advisory Committee
2009-2014 -- Co-Director, Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business
2007-2013 -- Member, Board of Editors, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
2004-2009 --- Member, Board of Editors, Journal of Economic Literature
2000-2002 --- Co-Director of National Bureau of Economic Research E-Commerce Project
1999-2000 --- Member, California Attorney General's Gasoline Task Force
1997-2003 --- Member, Governing Board of California Power Exchange Corporation
1995-2000 --- Editor, Journal of Industrial Economics
1994-2014 --- Director, University of California Energy Institute
1993-1995 --- Associate Editor of Journal of Industrial Economics
1993-2000 --- Associate Editor of International Journal of Industrial Organization
1992-2012 --- Associate Editor of Review of Economics and Statistics
1992-Present --- Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
1992-2009 --- Co-Director, Center for the Study of Energy Markets (formerly Program On Workable Energy Regulation), University of California
1978-1979 --- Staff Economist, Office of Economic Analysis, U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board
2016 --- Google Research Gift, “Market versus Non-Market Mechanisms for Reducing GHG Emissions”:
2016 --- Recipient, Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, Haas Daytime MBA Program
2015 --- Outstanding Contributions to the Profession Award, International Association for Energy Economics.
2015 --- Distinguished Fellow Award, Industrial Organization Society
2014 --- Power Association of Northern California 2014 Achievement Award
2012-2013 --- California Air Resources Board (PI), “Emissions Market Assessment Committee”
2012-2014 --- California Air Resources Board (PI), “Market Simulation Group”
2010 -- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (PI), ``Smart Grid and Dynamic Pricing''
2010 -- Microsoft Research Gift, "The Impact of Dynamic Electricity Pricing on Low-Income Households''
2009, 2014 -- American Economic Review, Excellence in Refereeing Award
2009-2014 -- U.C. Office of the Present Grant (PI), "U.C. Center for Energy and Environmental Economics''
2001-2013 -- California Energy Commission Research Grant to U.C. Energy Institute (PI), "Center for the Study of Electricity Markets''
2007-08 -- Research Grant from Coleman Fung Risk Management Research Center (PI), "Security of Supply Concerns and Forward Price Premia in Natural Gas Markets''
2006 --- Finalist, Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, Haas Daytime MBA Program
2002 --- Hewlett Foundation/Energy Foundation Research Grant, ``Price Responsive Demand in Electricity Markets''
1998-2000 --- National Bureau of Economic Research/Sloan Foundation Research Grant (co-PI with Joseph Farrell), "Why Do Firms Cut Costs?"
1997 --- Finalist, Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, Haas PhD Program
1997 --- Recipient, Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, Haas Daytime MBA Program
1991-1993 --- Universitywide Energy Research Group Research Grant (co-PI with Colin Cameron), "Asymmetric Retail Gasoline Price Responses to Crude Oil Price Changes"
1988-1989 --- University of Michigan Rothschild Research Fellowship (PI)
Fall 1987 --- Michigan Economic Society Undergraduate Teaching Award
1987-1990 --- National Science Foundation Research Grant #SES-8711576 (PI), "Efficiency in the Allocation of Operating Licenses"
1986-1987 --- University of Michigan Teaching Development Award (PI)
1986 --- University of Michigan Rackham Research Fellowship (PI)
1982-1983 --- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship
1979-1981 --- M.I.T. Graduate Scholarship