NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Ownership and the Price of Residential Electricity: Evidence from the United States, 1935-1940

Carl T. Kitchens, Taylor Jaworski

NBER Working Paper No. 22254
Issued in May 2016
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy

In this paper, we quantify the difference between public and private prices of residential electricity immediately before and after major federal reforms in the 1930s and 1940s. Previous research found that public prices were lower in a sample of large, urban markets. Based on new data covering over 15,000 markets and nearly all electricity generated for residential consumption, we find the difference between public and private prices was small in 1935 and negligible in 1940 for typical levels of monthly consumption. These findings are consistent with a market for ownership that helped to discipline electricity prices during this period. That is, private rents were mitigated by the threat that municipalities would use public ownership to respond to constituent complaints and public rents were limited by electoral competition and the growth of private provision.

download in pdf format
   (767 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22254

Published: Carl T. Kitchens & Taylor Jaworski, 2016. "Ownership and the price of residential electricity: Evidence from the United States, 1935–1940," Explorations in Economic History, . citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Barro w21872 Economic Growth and Convergence, Applied Especially to China
Chen and Zeckhauser w22240 Collective Action in an Asymmetric World
Hausman and Muehlenbachs w22261 Price Regulation and Environmental Externalities: Evidence from Methane Leaks
Levine and Rubinstein w19276 Smart and Illicit: Who Becomes an Entrepreneur and Do They Earn More?
Kleven, Landais, and Saez w16545 Taxation and International Migration of Superstars: Evidence from the European Football Market
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us