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Transaction Cost Regulation

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  • Pablo T. Spiller

Abstract

This paper discusses the fundamental underpinnings and some implications of transaction cost regulation (TCR), a framework to analyze the interaction between governments and investors fundamentally, but not exclusively, in utility industries. TCR sees regulation as the governance structure of these interactions, and thus, as in standard transaction cost economics, it places emphasis in understanding the nature of the hazards inherent to these interactions. The emphasis on transactional hazards requires a microanalytical perspective, where performance assessment is undertaken within the realm of possible institutional alternative. In that sense, politics becomes fundamental to understanding regulation as the governance of public / private interactions. The paper discusses two fundamental hazards and their organizational implications: governmental and third party opportunism. Both interact to make regulatory processes and outcomes more rigid, formalistic, and prone to conflict than envisioned by relational contracting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16735.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Publication status: published as Spiller, Pablo T., 2013. "Transaction cost regulation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 232-242.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16735

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  1. Loeb, Martin & Magat, Wesley A, 1979. "A Decentralized Method for Utility Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 399-404, October.
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  4. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  5. Pablo T. Spiller & Ingo Vogelsang, 1997. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment in the UK: The Case of Telecommunications," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(4), pages 607-, December.
  6. Lewis Evans & Arthur Grimes & Bryce Wilkinson, 1996. "Economic Reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The Pursuit of Efficiency," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1856-1902, December.
  7. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2010. "Regulatory Independence and Political Interference: Evidence from EU Mixed-Ownership Utilities’ Investment and Debt," Working Papers 2010.69, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
  9. Williamson, Oliver E, 1999. "Public and Private Bureaucracies: A Transaction Cost Economics Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 306-42, April.
  10. Witold J. Henisz & Bennet A. Zelner, 2001. "The Institutional Environment for Telecommunications Investment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 123-147, 03.
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  14. de Figueiredo, Rui J P, Jr & Spiller, Pablo T & Urbiztondo, Santiago, 1999. "An Informational Perspective on Administrative Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 283-305, April.
  15. Richard A. Posner, 1971. "Taxation by Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 22-50, Spring.
  16. Sam Peltzman, 1976. "Toward a More General Theory of Regulation," NBER Working Papers 0133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Ernesto Dal Bo & Rafael Di Tella, 2003. "Capture by Threat," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1123-1152, October.
  18. Werner Troesken, 2003. "Municipalizing American Waterworks, 1897--1915," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 373-400, October.
  19. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. "The Logic of Economic Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 65-93, Spring.
  20. Dal Bo, Ernesto & Rossi, Martin A., 2007. "Corruption and inefficiency: Theory and evidence from electric utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 939-962, June.
  21. Cubbin, J. & Stern, J., 2004. "Regulatory effectiveness: the impact of good regulatory governance on electricity industry capacity and efficiency in developing countries," Working Papers 04/04, Department of Economics, City University London.
  22. Scott E. Masten, 2011. "Public Utility Ownership in 19th-Century America: The "Aberrant" Case of Water," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 604-654.
  23. Douglass C North & John Joseph Wallis & Barry R. Weingast, 2006. "A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History," NBER Working Papers 12795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Pier Angelo Mori, 2013. "Customer ownership of public utilities: new wine in old bottles," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 2(1), pages 54-74, August.
  2. Andaluz-Alcazar, Alvaro, 2012. "Choix d'investissement sous incertitude des gestionnaires des réseaux de distribution (GRD) en Europe à l'horizon 2030," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/10862 edited by Keppler, Jan Horst, September.
  3. Sylvain Rossiaud, 2014. "Opening the upstream oil industry to private companies," Working Papers halshs-00960681, HAL.

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