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Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence

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  • Guerriero, Carmine

Abstract

A key market institution is the degree of accountability to which the officials involved in regulation are exposed. While elected officials strive for re-election, appointed ones are career-concerned. Provided that the effort exerted to uncover the firm’s unknown cost is sufficiently effective in swaying votes, elected officials produce more information than appointed ones do. As a result, when the demand is inelastic, appointment induces wider allocative distortions and higher profits which, in turn, yield stronger incentives to invest. Hence, appointment will prevail on election when investment inducement is sufficiently relevant and shareholders are sufficiently more powerful than consumers. Data on electricity rates and costs, and the methods of selecting regulators and appellate judges for a panel of forty-seven US states confirm these predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:453-469
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2011.07.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bortolotti, Bernardo & Cambini, Carlo & Rondi, Laura, 2013. "Reluctant regulation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 804-828.
    2. Per J. Agrell & Axel Gautier, 2012. "Rethinking Regulatory Capture," Chapters,in: Recent Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Marzano, Riccardo, 2015. "One more ride on the merry-go-round! Public ownership and delayed competition in local public services," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 981-996.
    4. Guerriero, Carmine, 2013. "The political economy of incentive regulation: Theory and evidence from US states," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 91-107.
    5. Gugler, Klaus & Rammerstorfer, Margarethe & Schmitt, Stephan, 2013. "Ownership unbundling and investment in electricity markets — A cross country study," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 702-713.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Election; Regulation; Judges; Electricity;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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