Blogging at the Energy Institute at Haas blog

Posting on Bluesky @severinborenstein



Severin Borenstein

Last Updated May 16, 2024


--- Professor of the Graduate School in the Economic Analysis and Policy Group of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley

--- Faculty Director of the Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business

--- Affiliated Professor, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, U.C. Berkeley
--- Affiliated Faculty, Energy & Resources Group, U.C. Berkeley

--- Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research

--- Member, Board of Governors, California Independent System Operator


Click here for bio, CV and photos

Contact Information:

Office Hours:  Meetings are by appointment (please email me).


Haas School of Business
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1900

Energy Institute at Haas
Giannini Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5180


Journal Publications:  (Google Scholar Profile)

The Economics of Electricity Reliability”,  Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2023, 37(4), 181-206, (joint with James Bushnell and Erin Mansur).

 Carbon Pricing, Clean Electricity Standards, and Clean Electricity Subsidies on the Path to Zero Emissions”, NBER Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy, 2023, 4, 125-176 (joint with Ryan Kellogg) [blog post]

Do Two Electricity Pricing Wrongs Make a Right? Cost Recovery, Externalities, and Efficiency”, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2022, 14(4), pp. 80-110, (joint with James Bushnell) [blog post]

Headwinds and Tailwinds: Implications of Inefficient Retail Energy Pricing for Energy Substitution”, NBER Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy, 2022, 3, pp. 37-70 (joint with James Bushnell) [blog post]

“Expecting the Unexpected:  Emissions Uncertainty and Environmental Market Design”,  American Economic Review, November 2019, 109(11), pp. 3953-3977 (joint with James Bushnell, Frank A. Wolak, and Matthew Zaragoza-Watkins). [related blog posts]

“The Private Net Benefits of Residential Solar PV: The Role of Electricity Tariffs, Tax Incentives and Rebates”, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 4, September 2017.

 "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). [blog post]


“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). [blog post]


"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?", Energy Journal, January 2014, 35(1), pp. 15-33 (with Ryan Kellogg). [blog post]


“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", Journal of Industrial Economics, 60(2), June 2012 (joint with Meghan Busse and Ryan Kellogg).

"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).

"On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets With Time-Invariant Retail Prices," (with Stephen Holland) Rand Journal of Economics, 36(Autumn 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 Trouble with Electricity Markets: Understanding California's Restructuring Disaster,'' Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(Winter 2002)

"Economics and Electronic Commerce" (with Garth Saloner), Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(Winter 2001).

"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).

 "Is Cost Cutting Evidence of X-Inefficiency?" (with Joe Farrell), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 90(May 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).

 "Market Power in California Electric Markets" (with James Bushnell, Edward Kahn, and Steven Stoft), Utilities Policy, 5(3/4, 1996).

 "Dynamic Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets" (with Andrea Shepard), Rand Journal of Economics, 27(Autumn 1996).

 "Bankruptcy and Pricing Behavior in U.S. Airline Markets" (with Nancy Rose), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 85(May 1995).

 "Antitrust Policy in Aftermarkets," (with Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and Janet Netz), Antitrust Law Journal, 63(Winter 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).

 "Selling Costs and Switching Costs: Explaining Retail Gasoline Margins," Rand Journal of Economics, 22(Autumn 1991).

 "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).

 "Hubs and High Fares: Dominance and Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," Rand Journal of Economics, 20(Autumn 1989).

 "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).

"Price Discrimination in Free-Entry Markets," Rand Journal of Economics, 16(Autumn 1985).


Other Publications:

“No, California’s rooftop solar market isn’t dying” San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, April 26, 2024

“California’s rooftop solar bias is pointing us in the wrong direction,” San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, December 13, 2022

“The Economics of Decarbonizing Houses,” Milken Institute Review, Third Quarter 2022

A California gas tax compromise that’s built to last,” San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, June 22, 2022

Betting on cryptocurrency to gird Texas’ grid is magical thinking,” Houston Chronicle, April 18, 2022

 It’s time for rooftop solar to compete with other renewables,” Nature Energy, April 7, 2022

Sorry, rooftop solar supporters, California incentives really do punish the poor,” Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2022

California’s Misguided Solar Rooftop Debate,” San Francisco Examiner, January 24, 2022

Gas prices actually aren’t that high”, Washington Post, December 2, 2021

Energy whiz Severin Borenstein on keeping the lights on and the fires out after PG&E’s bankruptcy”,  Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2019

Forget limiting Uber and Lyft vehicles to reduce congestion”, San Francisco Chronicle, December 21, 2018

“Forget the gas tax. Let's get to the bottom of California's 22-cents-a-gallon mystery surcharge”, Los Angeles Times, October 11, 2018

“What Does Daylight Saving Time Really Save?” San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, September 27, 2018

Keep California oil in the ground? The goal is good, but the policy doesn't pencil out”, Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2018

“Mystery Gas Charge Costs California Families $1,200 Since 2015” , San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, October 30, 2017

“Incandescent bulbs need to go in trash today”, San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times, January 6, 2017

“An Rx for cap and trade”, Sacramento Bee, August 11, 2016

“The Economics of Fixed Cost Recovery by Utilities”, The Electricity Journal, 29 (2016), 5-12

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” (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.

"Gas Surcharge Could Help Deficit, Environment", Sacramento Bee, November 17, 2008.  Also available a short policy paper explaining how a fuel price stabilization program could work.

Cost, 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.

 "A Cheaper Way to Clean Gasoline," (with Steven Stoft) San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 1999.

 "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.

 "A Guide to the Blue Book," (principal authors Carl Blumstein and James Bushnell), Electricity Journal, September 1994.

 "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


May 13, 2024, Reality Checking California’s Income-Graduated Fixed Charge, After all of the heat of the debate, a bit of data analysis sheds some light.

April 22, 2024, California’s Exploding Rooftop Solar Cost Shift, In 2024, residential PV will shift nearly $4 billion onto others’ bills, more than double the 2020 amount. (Data Appendix)

April 8, 2024, What’s Not Crushing California Rooftop Solar?, Bill savings from residential PV are as large now as a few years ago, but the industry is facing other big challenges. (Spreadsheet of calculations reported)

January 29, 2024, Carbon Neutrality on Sale, Finding the cheapest cap and trade market to “offset emissions” is just political arbitrage.

January 8, 2024, Our 2023 Carbon Footprint, A few calculations lead to surprising conclusions about how to reduce our households impact.

November 13, 2023, What’s a Fair Electricity Bill?, Concerns about an income-graduated fixed charge, legislators’ and my own.

September 25, 2023, Time to Dump the Gas Stove, If not because it destroys the climate and fowls of the air, then because cooking on it sucks.

August 28, 2023, Energy Hogs Roam the Whole Economy, Some want to punish household electricity consumption, but that’s a small slice of our energy use.

August 21, 2023, (Mis)Judging Energy Hogs, Household electricity consumption is a poor indicator of responsible usage.

July 17, 2023, Making Peak Electricity Pricing Make Sense, An important change could make the most common dynamic pricing program much more effective.

June 19, 2023, Electricity Pricing and the Social Cost of Carbon, New estimates of the SCC make it more important than ever that we lower the cost of electrification.

May 1, 2023, Rebalancing Rates for Electrification and Equity, Addressing some misunderstandings about California’s rate redesign proposals.

March 6, 2023, Does Anybody Really Care What Time It Is? Changing the clock alters energy use and economic activity only if it changes behavior. A new paper studies whether it does.

January 30, 2023, The West Coast’s Bleak Energy Winter, What do record natural gas prices tell us about cost risks of fossil and renewable energy?

January 9, 2023, What’s the Matter with California Gasoline Prices?, To develop effective solutions, policymakers must first understand the problem.

December 15, 2022, Rationalizing Compensation for Rooftop Generation, Proposed CPUC decision remains cold-eyed about sweet deal solar households are getting.

November 7, 2022, A Right to Keep Consuming? Historical baseline allocations can increase acceptance of emergency policies, or lock in unfair resource allocations.

October 3, 2022, What Does Capital Really Cost a Utility? A new study suggests excess compensation to shareholders is costing ratepayers billions.

July 25, 2022, Is Taxing Carbon Really the Best Way to Decarbonize the Grid? Our new research suggests clean electricity standards or subsidies might be more beneficial.

June 21, 2022, A Gasoline Tax Compromise for California, Eliminate the tax now. Replace it with one that ratchets up when the price of oil falls.

June 6, 2022, Myths that Solar Owners Tell Themselves, Reaching into the e-mailbag to address some unhappy blog readers.

May 6, 2022, What’s the Matter with Gasoline Prices?, Political rhetoric from both sides is more distracting than enlightening.

March 21, 2022, Crypto Mining for a More Stable Grid?, Is cryptocurrency the magical Texas route to resource adequacy? Or just magical thinking?

February 28, 2022, Cut the Electricity Tax, Not the Gas Tax, A more effective way to help struggling families, without undermining climate goals.

January 10, 2022, California’s Misguided Rooftop Solar Debate, The goal should be equitably saving the planet, not growing one industry.

November 29, 2021, Is Gasoline Becoming Unaffordable?, Not if you can remember the world before COVID.

November 8, 2021, The Little Utility that Could?, One very small public utility in the Sierras tries to implement more cost-based rate design.

October 4, 2021, The CEPP is Not a Clean Energy Standard, And the differences could undermine the program.

September 27, 2021, Soft Costs Are Real Costs, Every energy source has soft costs, some more than others. That doesn’t make them unfair.

August 16, 2021, Decarbonization Will Require Pricing Reform, When it comes to electrification, all energy prices matter.

July 12, 2021, Is Rooftop Solar Just Like Energy Efficiency?, Sort of. More expensive, less well timed, grid-intensive energy efficiency.

June 1, 2021, Rooftop Solar Inequity, California’s distributed solar policy hurts the poor. It really is that simple.

April 26, 2021, Finding Homes for Wind and Solar, To site new generation we must develop inclusive processes that don’t just reward the most influential.

March 15, 2021, Texas, Hedg’Em, The Texas crisis need not be the death of dynamic pricing.

January 25, 2021, Can Net Metering Reform Fix the Rooftop Solar Cost Shift?, If we don’t also get electricity rates right, closing one perverse incentive may just increase another.

November 16, 2020, Reinventing Fixed Charges, Income-based monthly fees could address affordability while reducing distorted electricity rates.

September 28, 2020, What Can Distributed Generation Do For the Grid?, A thought experiment suggests how much rooftop solar could reduce transmission and distribution costs.

August 24, 2020, Why Don’t We Do It With Demand?, Customers can help avoid blackouts if they are given better information and prices. (Song inspired by this blog)

July 6, 2020, Understanding and Refining Emissions Markets, Tweaking the market will help, but so will recognizing its limits.

May 18, 2020, Petro Questions and (Some) Answers, These are unusual times in oil and gasoline markets, but not really mysterious.

April 6, 2020, The Policy and Politics of the COVID-19 Oil Market Crash, Two energy economists discuss supply, collusion, jobs, and the impact on gasoline prices. (podcast with excerpts in blog)

March 16, 2020, Oil Market Impacts of COVID-19, Economists can’t predict the future, but economics can help improve policy today.

February 10, 2020, California’s Mystery Gasoline Surcharge Strikes Back, 2019 was a record year for the Mystery Surcharge, which is bad news for drivers and the state’s economy.

December 16, 2019, Preparing for Next Year’s Power Shutoffs, The best customer response depends on how much utilities can reduce their frequency.

November 12, 2019, Would Non-Profit Utilities Cure What Ails California Electricity? Converting an investor-owned utility to a non-profit is no silver bullet.

October 8, 2019, Some Suggestions for Getting Through a Power Shutoff, It will still be a headache, but doing a few simple things now can help.

September 30, 2019, What Can Carbon Pricing Do? It won’t reduce energy use much, but it can fundamentally alter where that energy comes from.

August 19, 2019, Pricing for the Short Run, Many factors go into electricity rate setting, but the economic guidance is short-run marginal cost.

July 8, 2019, Are Demand Charges Fair?, Appeals to equity don’t salvage the argument for demand charges.

May 20, 2019, The Mystery Gasoline Surcharge Gets Some Respect, Californians have paid over $1800 per household.  Now can we please find out why?

April 15, 2019, Pricing Carbon Isn’t Enough, A GHG tax alone doesn't solve the global need for low-cost alternative technologies.

March 11, 2019, Charging with the Sun, You aren’t getting “green electrons”, but charging at the right times still lowers GHG emissions.

January 21, 2019, Stabilizing Utilities in an Unstable Climate, Wildfire devastation mandates rethinking how electricity providers should be organized.

December 17, 2018 Lyft Doesn’t Cause Congestion, All Vehicles Do, Restrictions targeted at the newest road users are unfair and inefficient.

October 15, 2018 Trying to Unpack California’s Mystery Gasoline Surcharge, This year, it will drain over $3 billion from the pockets of Californians. We need to find out why.

September 17, 2018 The Electricity Price Isn’t Right! Setting prices too low is a climate problem, but so is setting prices too high.

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 Electricity Pricing Different from “Real” Markets?  Should It Be?, June 13, 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

Is the Future of Electricity Generation Really Distributed?, May 4, 2015

In Praise of Cleaner-burning Gasoline, March 30, 2015

The Job Creation Shuffle, February 17, 2015

Oil price crash shows the challenge of breaking addiction January 20, 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

Californians Can Handle the Truth About Gas Prices, August 11, 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

The California Solar Initiative is ending. What has it left behind?, June 17, 2013

Will “Pandora’s Promise” convince us that nuclear is the answer?, June 13, 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

Many Reasons to Dislike Renewables Mandates, but Fraudulent Credits Isn’t a Good One, July 10, 2012

The Midwest Oil Glut Hasn’t Lowered Gas Prices; Ending the Glut Won’t Raise Them, May 14, 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



Educational Software:

``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.

Recent Working Papers:

Designing Electricity Rates for An Equitable Energy Transition, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #314, February 2021, (joint with Meredith Fowlie and James Sallee)

Paying for Electricity in California: How Residential Rate Design Impacts Equity and Electrification, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #330, September 2022, (joint with Meredith Fowlie and James Sallee)

When We Change the Clock, Does the Clock Change Us?, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #335, March 2023, (joint with Patrick Baylis and Ed Rubin)

Energy Hogs and Energy Angels: What Does Residential Electricity Usage Really Tell Us About Profligate Consumption?, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #341, revised January 2024


Not-So-Recent Working Papers:

California’s Cap-and-Trade Market Through 2030: A Preliminary Supply/Demand Analysis, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #281, July 2017 (joint with James Bushnell and Frank A. Wolak)

"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).


Regional and Income Distribution Effects of Alternative Retail Electricity Tariffs”, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #225, U.C. Berkeley, October 2011.

"Would Pricing Aviation GHGs Really Lower Efficiency or Profitability?: A Comment on Winchester et al, 'The Impact of Climate Policy on U.S. Aviation’," Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper #216, U.C. Berkeley, June 2011.

"An Index of Inter-City Business Travel for Use in Domestic Airline Competition Analysis", U.C. Berkeley, June 2010.

“To What Electricity Price Do Consumers Respond? Residential Demand Elasticity Under Increasing-Block Pricing” , Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #195, University of California Energy Institute, September 2009.

"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.

"U.S. Domestic Airline Pricing, 1995-2004," Competition Policy Center Working Paper CPC05-48, University of California, Berkeley, January 2005.

"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.

“Dynamic Pricing, Advanced Metering, and Demand Response in Electricity Markets,” (with Michael Jaske and Arthur Rosenfeld), Center for the Study of Energy Markets Working Paper #105, University of California Energy Institute, October 2002.

"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


Academic Positions Held:

2021-present -- Professor of the Graduate School, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

2000-2021 -- 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


Other Professional Positions:

2019-Present—Member, Board of Governors, California Independent System Operator

2018-Present – Faculty Director, Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business

2016-2018 – Member, Board of Directors, Association of Environmental and Resource Economics

2015-2020—Member, Advisory Council, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

2014-2017 – Member/Chair (after 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


Honors, Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants:

2022 --- Adelman-Frankel Award, USAEE award for unique and innovative contributions to the field of energy economics

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 President 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

2005 -- Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award (for graduate student mentoring), U.C. Berkeley

2005 -- Distinguished Service Award, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida

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



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