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Consumer Standards as a Strategic Device to Mitigate Ratchet Effects in Dynamic Regulation

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  • Raffaele Fiocco
  • Roland Strausz

Abstract

Strategic delegation to an independent regulator with a pure consumer standard improves dynamic regulation by mitigating ratchet effects associated with short‐term contracting. A pure consumer standard alleviates the regulator's myopic temptation to raise output after learning the firm is inefficient. Anticipating this tougher regulatory behavior, efficient firms find it less attractive to exaggerate costs. This reduces the need for long‐term rents and mitigates ratchet effects. A welfare standard biased toward consumers entails, however, allocative costs arising from partial separation of the firms' cost types. A trade‐off results, which favors strategic delegation when efficient firms are relatively likely.

Suggested Citation

  • Raffaele Fiocco & Roland Strausz, 2015. "Consumer Standards as a Strategic Device to Mitigate Ratchet Effects in Dynamic Regulation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 550-569, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:24:y:2015:i:3:p:550-569
    DOI: 10.1111/jems.12104
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Doval & Vasiliki Skreta, 2022. "Mechanism Design With Limited Commitment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 90(4), pages 1463-1500, July.
    2. Fiocco, Raffaele & Guo, Dongyu, 2020. "Regulatory risk, vertical integration, and upstream investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    3. Doval, Laura & Skreta, Vasiliki, 2024. "Optimal mechanism for the sale of a durable good," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 19(2), May.
    4. Tangerås, Thomas & Gick, Wolfgang, 2021. "Contracting with Endogenously Incomplete Commitment: Escape Clauses," Working Paper Series 1390, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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