Disallowances and overcapitalization in the U.S. electric utility industry
Regulation of an industry often produces unintended consequences. Averch and Johnson (1962) argue that certain regulation of electric utilities provides utilities the incentive to purchase an inefficiently large amount of capital. Another possible and related unintended consequence of electric utility regulation is that regulatory cost disallowances on capital may also increase utilities' incentives to overcapitalize. The authors provide theoretical evidence that capital expenditure disallowances will increase the Averch and Johnson effect in some instances and thus may have contributed to the overcapitalization problem that regulation was designed to discourage. Our model shows that disallowances can reduce the rate of return on investment and thereby increase the Averch and Johnson distortion.
Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
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