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Behavioural simulations in spot electricity markets

By Albert Banal-Estañol and Augusto Rupérez Micola

Abstract

We study the consistency of behavioural simulation methods used to model the operations of wholesale electricity markets. We include different supply and demand representations and propose the Experience-Weighted Attractions method (Camerer and Ho, 1999) to encompass several behavioural paradigms. We compare the results across assumptions and to standard economic theory predictions. The match is good under flat and upward-slopping supply bidding, and also for plausible demand elasticity assumptions. Learning is influenced by the number of bids per plant and the initial conditions. The simulations perform best under reinforcement learning, less well under best-response and especially poorly under fictitious play. The overall conclusion is that simulation assumptions are far from innocuous. We link their performance to underlying features, and identify those that are better suited to model liberalised electricity markets.Behavioural simulations Electricity auctions Market design Experience-weighted attraction (EWA) Learning from metadata

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