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Alternative Institutional Arrangements in Network Utilities: An Incomplete Contracting Approach

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This paper presents a theoretical assessment of the efficiency implications of privatizing natural monopolies which are vertically related to potential competitive industries (network utilities). Based on the incomplete contracts and asymmetric information paradigm, I develop a model that analyzes the relative advantages of different institutional arrangements - alternative ownership and market structures in the industry - in terms of their allocative (static) and productive (dynamic) efficiencies. The main policy conclusion of this paper is that both ownership and the existence of conglomerates in network industries matter. Among other conclusions, this paper provides an economic rationale for mixed economies when the network is public and both vertical separation and full concentration of the industry when the natural monopoly is regulated under private ownership.

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Paper provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its series ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers with number inv116.

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Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv116

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  1. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-32, September.
  2. Schmidt,Klaus M., 1991. "The costs and benefits of privatization," Discussion Paper Serie A 330, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1988. "Privatization: An Economic Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262720116, December.
  4. Matsumura, Toshihiro, 1998. "Partial privatization in mixed duopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 473-483, December.
  5. Newbery, David M., 1997. "Privatisation and liberalisation of network utilities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 357-383, April.
  6. Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  7. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, December.
  8. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Access pricing and competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1673-1710, December.
  10. David E. M. Sappington & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Privatization, Information and Incentives," NBER Working Papers 2196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1991. "Efficiency and Privatisation in Imperfectly Competitive Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 311-21, March.
  12. Spiller, Pablo T, 1996. "Institutions and Commitment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 421-52.
  13. Armstrong, M. & Doyle, C. & Vickers, J., 1995. "The access pricing problem: a synthesis," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9532, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  14. Cremer, Helmuth & Marchand, Maurice & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1989. "The Public Firm as an Instrument for Regulating an Oligopolistic Market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 283-301, April.
  15. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L. & Rustichini, Aldo, 1998. "Recent developments in modeling unforeseen contingencies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 523-542, May.
  16. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Working papers 572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. Bernard Caillaud & Patrick Rey & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1987. "Government Intervention in Production and Incentives Theory: A Review of Recent Contributions," Working papers 472, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Modica, Salvatore & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "Unawareness and Partitional Information Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 265-298, May.
  19. Vickers, John, 1995. "Competition and Regulation in Vertically Related Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 1-17, January.
  20. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  21. Majumdar, Sumit K., 1998. "Slack in the state-owned enterprise: An evaluation of the impact of soft-budget constraints," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 377-394, May.
  22. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  23. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1989. "Alternative Strategies of a Public Enterprise in Oligopoly," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 302-11, April.
  24. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Incomplete Contracts and Privatization," Discussion Paper Serie A 480, University of Bonn, Germany.
  25. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Eduardo Saavedra, . "Opportunistic Behavior and Legal Disputes in the Chilean Electricity Sector," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv130, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.

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