Abstract : This work contributes to the economic analysis of power market architectures. A modular framework is used to separate problems of market design in different modules. The work's goal is to study real-time market design. A two-stage market equilibrium model is used to analyse the two main real-time designs: the “market” and the “mechanism” (with penalty). Numerical simulations show that design applied in real-time is not neutral vis-à-vis of energy markets sequence and the competition dynamic. Designs using penalty (mechanisms) cause distortions, inefficiencies and can create barriers to entry. The size of distortions is given by the temporal position of the gate that closure the forward markets. This model has also allowed us to show the key role of real-time integration between zones and the importance of good harmonisation between real-time designs of each zone.