Consumer capture of regulatory institutions: The creation of public utility consumer advocates in the United States
We examine the conditions under which state legislatures in the United States organized public utility consumers during the 1970s and 1980s by creating independent consumer advocates with resources and authority to intervene in public utility rate-making procedures. While economic factors, notably utility fuel cost increases, were important predictors, state political conditions were estimated to have a larger impact on the probability of implementation. We find that the pattern of adoption is consistent with the hypothesis that legislatures deploy institutions as a mechanism for insulating regulatory policies against future reform: in general, Democrat-controlled governments were significantly more likely to implement consumer advocates when they were less certain about being re-elected to office during this period. We find also that the effect of political re-election expectations was particularly acute for the creation of advocates representing solely residential consumers, a relatively disorganized interest group. Our results suggest that legislatures organize and publicly fund interest groups to protect supportive but vulnerable groups against adverse future political environments. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006
Volume (Year): 126 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/public+finance/journal/11127/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rodrik, Dani, 1991.
"Policy uncertainty and private investment in developing countries,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 229-242, October.
- Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joskow, Paul L, 1974. "Inflation and Environmental Concern: Structural Change in the Process of Public Utility Price Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 291-327, October.
- P. Joskow, 1974. "Inflation and Environmental Concern: Structural Change in the Process of Public Utility Price Regulation," Working papers 128, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
- Braillard, S. Lael & Verdier, Thierry, 1994. "Lobbying and adjustment in declining industries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 586-595, April.
- Tiller, Emerson H, 1998. "Controlling Policy by Controlling Process: Judicial Influence on Regulatory Decision Making," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 114-135, April.
- McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
- Gordon C. Rausser, 1992. "Predatory versus Productive Government: The Case of U.S. Agricultural Policies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 133-157, Summer.
- Rausser, Gordon C., 1991. "Predatory versus productive government: the case of U.S. agricultural policies," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt21913950, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Rausser, Gordon C., 1992. "Predatory Versus Productive Government: The Case of U.S. Agricultural Policies," Staff General Research Papers Archive 724, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Stephen Morris & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Policy Persistence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1327-1336, December.
- Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, "undated". "Policy Persistence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 8a66677895e9fcb3f6d813c0c, Penn Economics Department.
- Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, "undated". "Policy Persistence," CARESS Working Papres 97-2, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, "undated". ""Policy Persistence ''," CARESS Working Papres 95-19, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Baldwin, Robert E, 1989. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 119-135, Fall.
- Spiller, Pablo T & Tiller, Emerson H, 1997. "Decision Costs and the Strategic Design of Administrative Process and Judicial Review," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 347-370, June.
- Nelson, Randy A, 1982. "An Empirical Test of the Ramsey Theory and Stigler-Peltzman Theory of Public Utility Pricing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(2), pages 277-290, April.
- Joskow, P.L., 1989. "Regulatory Failure, Regulatory Reform And Structural Change In The Electric Power Industry," Working papers 516, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)