Informal Benchmarks as a Source of Regulatory Threat in Unregulated Utility Sectors
AbstractThis paper investigates to what extent unregulated local monopolies attempt not to evoke the introduction of a formal price regulation by conforming to customers’ and authorities’ expectations. It is argued that utilities can meet expectations by setting prices that imitate neighbours’ prices. The empirical evaluation rests on a cross-sectional data set representing all Swedish district heating utilities, and on a flexible nonlinear IV specification. It is found that while utilities’ price setting schemes are insensitive to customer complaints, they are significantly influenced by the passive monitoring by authorities. The spillover effect from the 5-6 closest neighbours is around 40 %.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2973.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
regulatory threat; spatial correlation; price; district heating; Sweden;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
- L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
- L97 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Utilities: General
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