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Optimal Regulation of Lumpy Investments

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  • Zwart, G.
  • Broer, D.P.

    (Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economics Center)

Abstract

When a monopolist has discretion over the timing of infrastructure investments, regulation of post-investment prices interferes with incentivizing socially optimal investment timing. In a model of regulated lumpy investment under uncertainty, we study regulation when the regulator can condition price caps on investment timing. We analyse optimal regulation when there is asymmetric information on investment costs and regulation has to respect a budget constraint. We show that optimal regulation involves a price cap that decreases as a function of the monopolist's chosen investment time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center in its series Discussion Paper with number 2012-020.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubtil:2012020

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Web page: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/tilec/

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Keywords: investment under uncertainty; asymmetric information; optimal regulation; budget constraint;

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  1. Michele Moretto & Paolo M. Panteghini & Carlo Scarpa, 2007. "Profit Sharing and Investment by Regulated Utilities: a Welfare Analysis," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0059, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
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  5. Graeme Guthrie, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 925-972, December.
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  8. Hori, Keiichi & Osano, Hiroshi, 2009. "Optimal timing of management turnover under agency problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1962-1980, December.
  9. Guthrie, Graeme & Small, John & Wright, Julian, 2006. "Pricing access: Forward-looking versus backward-looking cost rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1767-1789, October.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
  11. Lewis Evans & Graeme Guthrie, 2012. "Price-cap regulation and the scale and timing of investment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 537-561, 09.
  12. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  13. Michael G. Pollitt, 2008. "The Future of Electricity (and Gas) Regulation in a Low-carbon Policy World," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 63-94.
  14. Roques, Fabien A. & Savva, Nicos, 2009. "Investment under uncertainty with price ceilings in oligopolies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 507-524, February.
  15. Richard Schmalensee, 1989. "Good Regulatory Regimes," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 417-436, Autumn.
  16. Evans, Lewis T. & Guthrie, Graeme A., 2005. "Risk, price regulation, and irreversible investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 109-128, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Crew & Rami Kahlon, 2014. "Guaranteed return regulation: a case study of regulation of water in California," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 112-121, August.

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