Implicit yardstick competition between heating monopolies in urban areas: Theory and evidence from Sweden

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Magnus Söderberg


This article examines a novel regulatory mechanism in a setting with multiple local monopolists. The mechanism rests upon the behavioral assumption that cus- tomers form opinions about prices by comparing them with prices set by nearby mo- nopolies and that this comparison influences their behavior. In this way, an “implicit yardstick competition” emerges among monopolists although they do not operate in the same markets. We test this mechanism using a unique dataset of unregulated district heating monopolists in Sweden. We find a large effect of neighbors’ prices, which indicates that the implicit yardstick competition has a considerable disciplin- ing effect on monopolies’ pricing behavior.

Bonev, P., Glachant, M., & Söderberg, M. (2022). Implicit yardstick competition between heating monopolies in urban areas: Theory and evidence from Sweden.Energy Economics, 109, 105927.

Liknande innehåll

Regularized conditional estimators of unit inefficiency in stochastic frontier analysis, with application to electricity distribution market
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Zeebari, Z., Månsson, K., Sjölander, P., & Söderberg, M.


Publicerat i

Journal of Productivity Analysis, 59(1), 79-97.


In stochastic frontier analysis, the conventional estimation of unit inefficiency is based on the mean/mode of the inefficiency, conditioned on the composite error. It is known that the conditional mean of inefficiency shrinks towards the mean rather than towards the unit inefficiency. In this paper, we analytically prove that the conditional mode cannot accurately estimate unit inefficiency, either. We propose regularized estimators of unit inefficiency that restrict the unit inefficiency estimators to satisfy some a priori assumptions, and derive the closed form regularized conditional mode estimators for the three most commonly used inefficiency densities. Extensive simulations show that, under common empirical situations, e.g., regarding sample size and signal-to-noise ratio, the regularized estimators outperform the conventional (unregularized) estimators when the inefficiency is greater than its mean/mode. Based on real data from the electricity distribution sector in Sweden, we demonstrate that the conventional conditional estimators and our regularized conditional estimators provide substantially different results for highly inefficient companies.

The article can be accessed here.

An empirical evaluation of the effect of working from home on waste behavior
Working paperPublikation
Bonev, P., Soederberg, M., & Unternährer, M.


Publicerat i

University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.


We evaluate the effect of working from home on waste generated by individuals both at and away from their homes. To that end, we collect a unique dataset that matches administrative household-level waste data from Sweden with survey data on how many hours individuals work from home. A novel identification approach allows us to link waste generated away from home to the choice of location of work. Our results suggest that working from home reduces organic and residual waste by 20% and 12%, respectively.

The article can be accessed here.

Visa fler

Ratio är ett fristående forskningsinstitut som forskar om hur företagandets villkor kan utvecklas och förbättras.

Sveavägen 59 4trp

Box 3203

103 64 Stockholm

Bankgiro: 512-6578