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Regulatory Risk under Optimal Incentive Regulation

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  • Roland Strausz

Abstract

The paper provides a tractable, analytical framework to study regulatory risk under optimal incentive regulation. Regulatory risk is captured by uncertainty about the policy variables in the regulator’s objective function: weights attached to profits and costs of public funds. Results are as follows: 1) The regulator’s reaction to regulatory risk depends on the curvature of the aggregate demand function. 2) It yields a positive information rent effect exactly when demand is convex. 3) Firms benefit from regulatory risk exactly when demand is convex. 4) Consumers’ risk preferences tend to contradict the firm’s. 5) Benevolent regulators always prefer regulatory risk and these preferences may contradict both the firm’s and consumers’ preferences.

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File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2009-006.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2009-006.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2009-006

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Keywords: optimal incentive regulation; regulatory risk; procurement; information rents;

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References

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  1. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  2. Paolo M. Panteghini & Carlo Scarpa, 2003. "Irreversible Investments and Regulatory Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 934, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  5. Chang, Mo Ahn & Thompson, Howard E, 1989. "An Analysis of Some Aspects of Regulatory Risk and the Required Rate of Return for Public Utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 241-57, September.
  6. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  7. Thomas P. Lyon, 1991. "Regulation with 20-20 Hindsight: "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose"?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 581-595, Winter.
  8. Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9005, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  9. Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Deterministic versus stochastic mechanisms in principal-agent models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 306-314, May.
  10. Kolbe, A Lawrence & Tye, William B, 1996. "Compensation for the risk of stranded costs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1025-1050, December.
  11. Robert S. Pindyck, 1986. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  14. Samuelson, Paul A, 1972. "The Consumer Does Benefit From Feasible Price Stability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 476-93, August.
  15. Richard J. Gilbert & David M. Newbery, 1994. "The Dynamic Efficiency of Regulatory Constitutions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(4), pages 538-554, Winter.
  16. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2007. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds in Developing Countries: An Application to 38 African Countries," IDEI Working Papers 371, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  17. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
  18. David J. Salant & Glenn A. Woroch, 1992. "Trigger Price Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 29-51, Spring.
  19. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Mayo, 2005. "Regulatory Opportunism and Investment Behavior: Evidence from the U.S. Electric Utility Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 628-644, Autumn.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Grith & Wolfgang Härdle & Juhyun Park, 2009. "Shape invariant modelling pricing kernels and risk aversion," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-041, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  3. Roland Strausz, 2010. "The Political Economy of Regulatory Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 2953, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Michał Grajek & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2009. "Regulation and Investment in Network Industries: Evidence from European Telecoms," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Barbara Choroś & Wolfgang Härdle & Ostap Okhrin, 2009. "CDO and HAC," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-038, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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