If the motel industry runs more smoothly because motel room prices are free to fluctuate in response to changes in demand, why not let retail energy prices operate freely, too? Laboratory simulations of electricity markets support the economic intuition that market pricing would stabilize and lower energy prices.

Stephen J. Rassenti is a professor in the College of Arts and Science at George Mason University.
Vernon L. Smith is a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Independent Institute and Professor of Economics at Chapman University.
Bart J. Wilson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University.
EconomyEnergyEnergy and the EnvironmentFree Market EconomicsHealth and HealthcarePublic Choice
Other Independent Review articles by Vernon L. Smith
Summer 2023 Adam Smith, Sociality, and Classical Liberalism
Summer 2020 Classical Economics: Lost and Found
Spring 2016 Economic Modeling: Why the Standard Model Survives Bad Performance