Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Politics, institutions, and outcomes: Electricity regulation in Argentina and Chile

Contents:

Author Info

  • William B. Heller
  • Mathew D. McCubbins
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Risk, whether market or political, is an important determinant of private investment decisions. One important risk, subject to control by the government, is the risk associated with the hold-up problem: governments can force utilities to shoulder burdensome taxes, to use input factors ineffectively, or to charge unprofitable rates for their service. To attract private investment governments must be able to make commitments to policies that are nonexpropriative (either to contracts that guarantee very high rates of return or to favorable regulatory policies). These commitments, of course, must be credible. Judgments about the credibility of commitments to regulatoty policies are based upon two political factors: regulatory predictability and regime stability. Regulatory predictability implies that the regulatory process, in which prices and levels of service are set, is not arbitrary. If the condition of regulatory predictability holds, then investors can forecast their returns over time and hence can calculate the value of their investment. If there is regime stability, then there is minimal risk of wholesale changes in the way the government regulates the industry—the most extreme type of change being the denial of property rights, or expropriation. We argue that three characteristics of the regulatory process are, in turn, important determinants of regulatory predictability: agenda control, reversionary regulatory policy, and veto gates. Moreover, regime stability is also, in part, a function of these three characteristics. We examine our theory of political risk and regulatoty commitment by comparing the cases of Argentine and Chilean electricity investment and regulation.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13841289608523368
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

    Volume (Year): 1 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 357-387

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:1:y:1996:i:4:p:357-387

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/GPRE19

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/GPRE19

    Related research

    Keywords: Utility Regulation; Hold-Up Problem; Political Risk; Regulatory Commitment;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Recuero Virto, Laura & Gasmi, Farid & Noumba Um, Paul, 2010. "Does political accountability matter for infrastructure regulation? The case of telecommunications," MPRA Paper 28496, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    2. Michael Pollitt, 2004. "Electricity Reform in Chile Lessons for Developing Countries," Working Papers 0416, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    3. Farid Gasmi & Paul Noumba Um & Laura Recuero Virto, 2009. "Political Accountability and Regulatory Performance in Infrastructure Industries: An Empirical Analysis," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(3), pages 509-531, October.
    4. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
    5. Taliercio, Robert Jr., 2004. "Administrative Reform as Credible Commitment: The Impact of Autonomy on Revenue Authority Performance in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 213-232, February.
    6. Witold J. Henisz & Bennet A. Zelner & Mauro F. Guillen, 2004. "International Coercion, Emulation and Policy Diffusion: Market-Oriented Infrastructure Reforms, 1977-1999," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-713, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Russell Pittman, 2001. "Vertical Restructuring of the Infrastructure Sectors of Transition Economies," Industrial Organization 0111002, EconWPA.
    8. Antonio Estache & L. Wren-Lewis, 2008. "Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Laffont's Lead," Working Papers ECARES 2008_018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:1:y:1996:i:4:p:357-387. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.