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Public Utility Finance and Economic Waste

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  • Glenn P. Jenkins

Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which the low-cost financing of publicly owned electric utilities in Canada has resulted in both income transfers and the creation of economic waste. Economic waste arising from the low financial cost of public funds is created through the effect that subsidized capital has on the choice of technology; through the direct and indirect export of electricity sold at prices below its cost; and through the effect that low electricity prices have by inducing Canadians to overconsume electricity. Expressions are developed that enable the estimation of the magnitudes of these various economic losses. The estimated losses are very large and amount to an annual loss of approximately one percent of Canada's GNP.
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Suggested Citation

  • Glenn P. Jenkins, 1985. "Public Utility Finance and Economic Waste," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(3), pages 484-498, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:18:y:1985:i:3:p:484-98
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    Cited by:

    1. Glenn Jenkins & Chun-Yan Kuo & Arnold C. Harberger, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Analysis for Investment Decisions: Chapter 8 (The Economic Opportunity Cost of Capital)," Development Discussion Papers 2011-08, JDI Executive Programs.
    2. Glenn Jenkins & HENRY LIM, 1998. "Evaluation Of Investments For The Expansion Of An Electricity Distribution System," Development Discussion Papers 1998-01, JDI Executive Programs.
    3. Henry Lim & Glenn Jenkins, 2000. "Electricity Demand And Electricity Value," Development Discussion Papers 2000-01, JDI Executive Programs.
    4. Glenn Jenkins, 1991. "Tax Policy Issues In Emerging Market Economies," Development Discussion Papers 1991-07, JDI Executive Programs.
    5. Jean-Thomas Bernard & Simon Thivierge, 1988. "Les politiques fiscales et financieres des services d'electricite: Le cas d'Hydro-Quebec. (With English summary.)," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 14(3), pages 239-244, September.

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