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Optimal state-contingent regulation under limited liability

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  • R. Gary-Bobo
  • Y. Spiegel

Abstract

We consider an optimal regulation model in which the regulated firm’s production cost is subject to random, publicly observable shocks. The distribution of these shocks is correlated with the firm’s cost type, which is private information. The regulator designs an incentive compatible regulatory scheme that adjusts itself automatically ex-post given the realization of the cost shock. We derive the optimal scheme, assuming that there is an upper bound on the financial losses that the firm can sustain in any given state. We first consider a two-types, two-states case, and then extend the results to the case of a continuum of firm types and an arbitrary finite number of states. We show that the first best allocation can be implemented if the state of nature conveys enough information about the firm’s type and (or) the maximal loss that the firm can sustain is sufficiently large. Otherwise, the solution is characterized by classical second-best features.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2003-09.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2003-09

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  1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  2. Riordan, Michael H. & Sappington, David E. M., 1988. "Optimal contracts with public ex post information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 189-199, June.
  3. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1985. "Optimal Selling Strategies under Uncertainty for a Discriminating Monopolist When Demands Are Interdependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 345-61, March.
  4. Paul L. Joskow, 2001. "California's Electricity Crisis," NBER Working Papers 8442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Steven R. Williams & Georgia Kosmopoulou, 1998. "The robustness of the independent private value model in Bayesian mechanism design," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 393-421.
  6. Anke Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann & Patrick Schmitz, 2000. "Optimal Contracting with Verifiable Ex Post Signals," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse19_2000, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Dominique M. Demougin & Devon A. Garvie, 1991. "Contractual Design with Correlated Information under Limited Liability," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 477-489, Winter.
  8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Maskin, Eric, 1980. "A Differential Approach to Dominant Strategy Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1507-20, September.
  9. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Robert, Jacques, 1991. "Continuity in auction design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 169-179, October.
  11. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Mikhail Drugov, 2010. "Information and delay in an agency model," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 598-615.
  2. Cécile Aubert & Jérôme Pouyet, 2006. "Incomplete regulation, market competition and collusion," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 113-142, August.
  3. Mikhail Drugov, 2011. "Intra-firm bargaining and learning in a market equilibrium," Economics Working Papers we1102, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  4. Sandrine Ollier, 2007. "On the generalized principal-agent problem: a comment," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11, June.
  5. Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Interim Information in Long Term Contracts," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 40, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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