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Investment under uncertainty with price ceilings in oligopolies

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  • Roques, Fabien A.
  • Savva, Nicos

Abstract

We study the impact of price cap regulation on the level and timing of investment in an oligopolistic (Cournot) industry facing stochastic demand. We find that a price ceiling affects investment decisions in two mutually competing ways: it makes the option to defer investment more valuable, but at the same time it reduces the incentive for firms to strategically underinvest in order to raise prices. We show that while sensible price cap regulation speeds up investment, a low price cap can be a disincentive for investment. There exists an optimal price cap independent of market concentration - the competitive investment price trigger - that maximizes investment incentives and in the long term increases industry installed capacity. This optimal price cap becomes less effective and less robust as the market becomes more competitive and as demand volatility increases. Errors in estimation of the optimal price cap have asymmetric effects: underestimation has more dire consequences than overestimation.

Suggested Citation

  • Roques, Fabien A. & Savva, Nicos, 2009. "Investment under uncertainty with price ceilings in oligopolies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 507-524, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:2:p:507-524
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guthrie, Graeme, 2012. "Regulated prices and real options," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 650-663.
    2. Rahmatallah Poudineh and Tooraj Jamasb, 2015. "A New Perspective: Investment and Efficiency under Incentive Regulation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    3. Peter Broer & Gijsbert Zwart, 2013. "Optimal regulation of lumpy investments," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 177-196, October.
    4. Sebastian Nick & Heike Wetzel, 2016. "The hidden cost of investment: the impact of adjustment costs on firm performance measurement and regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 33-55, February.
    5. Sarkar, Sudipto & Zhang, Chuanqian, 2015. "Investment policy with time-to-build," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 142-156.
    6. Ingo Vogelsang, 2012. "Incentive Regulation, Investments and Technological Change," Chapters,in: Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Chronopoulos, Michail & De Reyck, Bert & Siddiqui, Afzal, 2014. "Duopolistic competition under risk aversion and uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(2), pages 643-656.
    8. Léautier, Thomas-Olivier, 2014. "The "demand side" effect of price caps: uncertainty, imperfect competition, and rationing," IDEI Working Papers 815, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    9. A. Mantovi, 2009. "Long run value stabilization in a real options perspective," Economics Department Working Papers 2009-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    10. repec:kap:jeczfn:v:121:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00712-017-0521-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Moreno Ruiz, Diego & Lemus Torres, Ana Belén, 2014. "Price caps regulation with capacity precommitment," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1309, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    12. Jacco J.J. Thijssen, "undated". "Equilibria in Continuous Time Preemption Games with Markovian Payoffs," Discussion Papers 11/17, Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Léautier, Thomas-Olivier, 2014. "The "demand side" effect of price caps: uncertainty, imperfect competition, and ration," TSE Working Papers 14-460, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    14. Lemus, Ana B. & Moreno, Diego, 2017. "Price caps with capacity precommitment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 131-158.
    15. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2015. "Price limits and corporate investment: The consumers' perspective," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 168-178.
    16. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2010. "Incentive regulation and investment: evidence from European energy utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-26, August.
    17. repec:kap:decono:v:166:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10645-017-9310-y is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Rahmatallah Poudineh & Tooraj Jamasb, 2013. "Investment and Efficiency under Incentive Regulation: The Case of the Norwegian Electricity Distribution Networks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1310, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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