IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The "Regulatory Compact" and Implicit Contracts: Should Stranded Costs be Recoverable?


  • James Boyd


Progress toward electricity market deregulation has brought controversy over whether or not utilities are entitled to compensation for "stranded costs", i.e., costs utilities will not be able to recover due to the advent of competition in their markets. This paper uses a legal and economic analysis of contracts to address the desirability of utility cost recovery. First, underlying principles of law are reviewed to determine whether or not there is a legal presumption of recovery. Then, the analysis considers whether or not an implicit "regulatory compact" between utilities and regulators follows from principles in the economic analysis of law, particularly theories of efficient breach and implicit contracts. The paper concludes that recovery should occur in only a proscribed set of circumstances and that, when called for, compensation should be partial, rather than full.

Suggested Citation

  • James Boyd, 1998. "The "Regulatory Compact" and Implicit Contracts: Should Stranded Costs be Recoverable?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 69-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1998v19-03-a04

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to IAEE members and subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    2. Engle, Robert F. & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1987. "Forecasting and testing in co-integrated systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 143-159, May.
    3. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
    4. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
    5. Serletis, Apostolos, 1994. "A cointegration analysis of petroleum futures prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 93-97, April.
    6. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    7. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
    8. MacKinnon, James G, 1994. "Approximate Asymptotic Distribution Functions for Unit-Root and Cointegration Tests," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(2), pages 167-176, April.
    9. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
    10. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
    11. Pantula, Sastry G & Gonzalez-Farias, Graciela & Fuller, Wayne A, 1994. "A Comparison of Unit-Root Test Criteria," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 449-459, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Loredo, Enrique & Suarez, Eugenia, 2000. "The governance of transactions: Joskow's coal-burning generating plants example revisited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 107-114, February.
    2. repec:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:384-398 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1998v19-03-a04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Williams). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.