Stanford University

Frank Wolak

Stanford University
Professor of Economics / Director (Program on Energy and Sustainable Development)

Frank Wolak is a Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He received his undergraduate degree from Rice University, and an S.M. in Applied Mathematics and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. His fields of research are industrial organization and empirical economic analysis. He specializes in the study of privatization, competition and regulation in network industries such as electricity, telecommunications, water supply, natural gas and postal delivery services. He is the author of numerous academic articles on these topics. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Visiting Researcher at the University of California Energy Institute in Berkeley. Professor Wolak has served as a consultant to the California and U.S. Departments of Justice on market power issues in the telecommunications, electricity, and natural gas markets. He has also served as a consultant to the Federal Communications Commission and Postal Rate Commission on issues relating to regulatory policy in network industries. Since April of 1998 he has been Chairman of the Market Surveillance Committee (MSC) of the California Independent System Operator. In this capacity, he has testified numerous times at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and at various Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives on issues relating to market monitoring and market power in electricity markets. Topics addressed in this testimony include: FERC’s role in the design of the California electricity market, the factors leading to the California electricity crisis, the role of the Enron trading strategies in the California electricity crisis, and lessons from the California electricity crisis and Enron bankruptcy for the design of effective regulatory oversight of wholesale energy markets. Wolak has worked on the design and regulatory oversight of the electricity markets internationally in Europe in England and Wales, Italy, Norway and Sweden, and Spain; in Australia/Asia in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, and Philippines; in Latin American in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, and Mexico; and the US in California, New York, PJM, and New England. He lectures internationally on issues related to electricity market monitoring and regulatory oversight. He has contributed to the design of market monitoring protocols in a number of electricity markets. He was commissioned by the Colombian government to design an independent market monitoring committee for the Colombian electricity supply industry. He was commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank to develop market monitoring protocols for the Central American electricity market. The Swedish competition authority commissioned him write a research report on the design of the interface between competition policy and electricity market monitoring in European countries. He worked on the design of market monitoring protocols for the Philippines electricity market. He was commissioned by the Brazilian electricity market operator to assess the performance of the short-term price determination process. He has recently completed a study commissioned by the New Zealand Commerce Commission on the state of competition in the New Zealand wholesale electricity market.

Linked authors

University of Basilicata (Potenza)
Stanford University
Lex Lumina (New York)
Stanford Law School
Stanford University


1541 Review

Frank Wolak, Ricardo Cardoso de Andrade Lisbon Conference - Panel II - Managing demand-side economic and political constraints on electricity industry re-structuring processes (15 janvier 2010)


Managing demand-side economic and political constraints on electricity industry re-structuring processes Frank A. WOLAK Department of Economics, Stanford University 1. Economic and political factors constraint electricity industry re-structuring processes. Powerful entities that existed (...)

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