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Dynamics of Rate-of-Return Regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander Nezlobin

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

  • Madhav V. Rajan

    () (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

  • Stefan Reichelstein

    () (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

Abstract

Under rate-of-return regulation, a firm's product prices are constrained by the requirement that investors not earn more than an allowable return on the firm's assets. This paper examines the dynamic properties of the rate-of-return regulation process when the regulated firm periodically undertakes new capacity investments. Our analysis identifies prices that correspond to stationary values of the regulation process. It is shown that the underlying depreciation rules for property, plant, and equipment determine whether these stationary prices will be above, equal to, or below the long-run marginal cost of providing the regulated service. We provide conditions under which the rate-of-return regulation process is dynamically stable so that prices indeed converge to their stationary values. The overall efficiency of this regulation method is shown to depend on how well the applicable depreciation schedule matches the productivity pattern of the assets in use. This paper was accepted by Gérard P. Cachon, accounting.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Nezlobin & Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2012. "Dynamics of Rate-of-Return Regulation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 980-995, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:5:p:980-995
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1110.1464
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1110.1464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rogerson William P, 2011. "On the Relationship Between Historic Cost, Forward Looking Cost and Long Run Marginal Cost," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-31, June.
    2. William P. Rogerson, 2008. "Intertemporal Cost Allocation and Investment Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 931-950, October.
    3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743.
    4. Rogerson, William P, 1997. "Intertemporal Cost Allocation and Managerial Investment Incentives: A Theory Explaining the Use of Economic Value Added as a Performance Measure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 770-795, August.
    5. Gary Biglaiser & Michael Riordan, 2000. "Dynamics of Price Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 744-767, Winter.
    6. Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2009. "Depreciation Rules and the Relation between Marginal and Historical Cost," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 823-865, June.
    7. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "An Expository Note on Depreciation and Profitability under Rate-of-Return Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 293-298, September.
    8. William J. Baumol, 1971. "Optimal Depreciation Policy: Pricing the Products of Durable Assets," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(2), pages 638-656, Autumn.
    9. Thomas Pfeiffer & Georg Schneider, 2007. "Residual Income-Based Compensation Plans for Controlling Investment Decisions Under Sequential Private Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(3), pages 495-507, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:reaccs:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11142-017-9402-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Küpper, Hans-Ulrich & Pedell, Burkhard, 2016. "Which asset valuation and depreciation method should be used for regulated utilities? An analytical and simulation-based comparison," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 88-103.
    3. Comello, Stephen D. & Reichelstein, Stefan J. & Sahoo, Anshuman & Schmidt, Tobias S., 2017. "Enabling Mini-Grid Development in Rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 94-107.
    4. Alexander Nezlobin & Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2016. "Structural properties of the price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 438-472, June.
    5. Christian Lohmann, 2015. "Managerial incentives for capacity investment decisions," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 27-49, April.
    6. repec:eee:ejores:v:277:y:2019:i:3:p:1113-1123 is not listed on IDEAS

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