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Lobbies, Delegation and the Under-investment Problem in Regulation

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Author Info

  • Joanne Evans

    (University of Surrey)

  • Paul Levine

    (University of Surrey)

  • Fransesc Trillas

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

A time-inconsistency problem in regulation often results in under-investment es- pecially where there are high sunk costs in network industries such as electricity, gas, telecommunications and water. This paper provides a new perspective on this ‘hold-up’ problem facing the price regulation of a firm with market power where full commitment to a price regime is not possible. We compare a political equilibrium based on a voting model with lobbying with a delegation equilibrium, where a gov- ernment can delegate to a particular ‘type’ of pro- or anti-industry regulator. Our analysis suggests two possible ways in which we may observe price regulation that en- courages socially optimal investment in the absence of externally imposed regulatory commitment: first, there is less than total transparency in which voters receive an optimal amount of information and second, the decisions on price are delegated to a sufficiently, but not excessively, pro-industry regulator.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 2006.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in International Journal of Industrial Organization
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:2006

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Postal: Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
Phone: (01483) 259380
Fax: (01483) 259548
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Web page: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/economics/
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Related research

Keywords: under-investment; political equilibrium; capture; delegation.;

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References

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  1. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Tomaso Duso, 2005. "Lobbying and regulation in a political economy: Evidence from the U.S. cellular industry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 251-276, March.
  3. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  4. Paul Levine & Neil Rickman, 2003. "Price Regulation, Investment and the Commitment Problem," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0603, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  5. Gual, Jordi & Trillas, Francesco, 2004. "Telecommunications Policies: Determinants and Impact," CEPR Discussion Papers 4578, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gual Jordi & Trillas Francesc, 2006. "Telecommunications Policies: Measurement and Determinants," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-24, June.
  7. Stephen Coate & Timothy Besley, 2000. "Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  9. Randolph Sloof, 2000. "Interest Group Lobbying and the Delegation of Policy Authority," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 247-274, November.
  10. Spulber, Daniel F & Besanko, David, 1992. "Delegation, Commitment, and the Regulatory Mandate," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 126-54, March.
  11. 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.
  12. al-Nowaihi, Ali & Levine, Paul, 1994. "Can reputation resolve the monetary policy credibility problem?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 355-380, April.
  13. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 1996. "Regulatory reform in telecommunications in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 295-318, October.
  14. 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, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine, 2002. "Using Stock Price Information to Regulate Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 169-90, January.
  17. Laffont,Jean-Jacques, 2005. "Regulation and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521549486, December.
  18. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
  19. Paul Levine & John Stern & Francesc Trillas, 2005. "Utility price regulation and time inconsistency: comparisons with monetary policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 447-478, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ingo Vogelsang, 2010. "Incentive Regulation, Investments and Technological Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 2964, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Gasmi, Farid & Recuero Virto, Laura, 2008. "The Determinants and Impact of Telecommunications Reform in Developping Countries," IDEI Working Papers 530, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Estache, Antonio & Wren-Lewis, Liam, 2010. "What Anti-Corruption Policy Can Learn from Theories of Sector Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Recuero Virto, Laura & Gasmi, Farid & Noumba Um, Paul, 2008. "The Role of Institutional Design in the Conduct of Infrastructure Industry Reforms - An Illustration through Telecommunications in Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 28253, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
  5. Boggio, Margherita, 2011. "From Reluctant Privatization to Municipal Capitalism: an Overview on Ownership, Political Connections and Decentralization," MPRA Paper 46232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Brito Duarte & Pereira Pedro & Vareda João, 2013. "Investment, Dynamic Consistency and the Sectoral Regulator’s Objective," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 563-594, August.
  7. Antonio Estache & L. Wren-Lewis, 2008. "Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Laffont's Lead," Working Papers ECARES 2008_018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Francesc Trillas, 2008. "Regulatory federalism in network industries," Working Papers 2008/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  9. Recuero Virto, Laura & Gasmi, Farid & Noumba Um, Paul, 2009. "The role of institutional design in the conduct of infrastructure industries reforms - An illustration through telecommunications in developing countries," MPRA Paper 12881, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Does government ideology influence deregulation of product markets? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 135-155, April.
  11. Pachis, Athanasios & Yannelis, Demetrius, 2013. "The relation between local loop unbundling and investment in fixed telephony," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88470, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  12. Antonio Estache & L. Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Jean-Jacques Laffont's Lead," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/43903, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Joanne Evans & Paul Levine & Neil Rickman & Francesc Trillas, 2011. "Delegation to Independent Regulators and the Ratchet Effect," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0911, School of Economics, University of Surrey.

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