Anecdotal evidence indicates that electricity producers use production failures to disguise strategic reductions of capacity in order to influence prices, but systematic evidence is lacking. We use a quasi-experimental set up and data from the Swedish energy market to examine such behavior. In a market without strategic withholding, the decision of reporting a failure should be independent of the market price. We show that marginal producers in fact base their decision to report a failure in part on prices, which indicates that failures are a result of economic incentives as well as of technical problems.
Working Paper No. 1015
Strategic Withholding through Production Failures