Incentive Regulation of Prices When Costs are Sunk
We present a model featuring irreversible investment, economies of scale, uncertain future demand and capital prices, and a regulator who sets the firm’s output price according to the cost structure of a hypothetical replacement firm. We show that a replacement firm has a fundamental cost advantage over the regulated firm: it can better exploit the economies of scale because it has not had to confront the historical uncertainties faced by the regulated firm. We show that setting prices so low that a replacement firm is just willing to participate is insufficient to allow the regulated firm to expect to break even whenever it has to invest. Thus, unless the regulator is willing to incur costly monitoring to ensure the firm invests, revenue must be allowed in excess of that required for a replacement firm to participate. This contrasts with much of the existing literature, which argues that the market value of a regulated firm should equal the cost of replacing its existing assets. We also obtain a closed-form solution for the regulated firm’s output price when this price is set at discrete intervals. In contrast to rate of return regulation, we find that resetting the regulated price more frequently can increase the risk faced by the firm’s owners, and that this is reflected in a higher output price and a higher weighted-average cost of capital. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006
Volume (Year): 29 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/industrial+organization/journal/11149/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.:
- Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "Displaced Capital: A Study of Aerospace Plant Closings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 958-992, October.
- Weisman Dennis L., 2002. "Did The High Court Reach An Economic Low In Verizon v. FCC?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-16, September.
- Hayne E. Leland, 1974.
"Regulation of Natural Monopolies and the Fair Rate of Return,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(1), pages 3-15, Spring.
- Hayne E. Leland, 1973. "Regulation of Natural Monopolies and the Fair Rate of Return," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 362, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Hausman, Jerry & Myers, Stewart, 2002. "Regulating the United States Railroads: The Effects of Sunk Costs and Asymmetric Risk," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 287-310, November.
- Mandy David M. & Sharkey William W., 2003. "Dynamic Pricing and Investment from Static Proxy Models," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 1-37, December.
- D. J. Johnstone, 2003. "Replacement Cost Asset Valuation and Regulation of Energy Infrastructure Tariffs," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 39(1), pages 1-41.
- Asplund, Marcus, 2000. "What Fraction of a Capital Investment Is Sunk Costs?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 287-304, September.
- Asplund, Marcus, 1995. "What Fraction of a Capital Investment is Sunk Cost?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 68, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 24 Sep 1999.
- Marshall, William J & Yawitz, Jess B & Greenberg, Edward, 1981. "Optimal Regulation under Uncertainty," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 909-921, September.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
- 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, January.
- Evans, Lewis T. & Guthrie, Graeme A., 2005. "Risk, price regulation, and irreversible investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 109-128, February.
- Evans, Lewis & Guthrie, Graeme, 2005. "Risk, Price Regulation, and Irreversible Investment," Working Paper Series 3880, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
- Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
- Ian M. Dobbs, 2004. "Intertemporal price cap regulation under uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 421-440, April.
- Gary Biglaiser & Michael Riordan, 2000. "Dynamics of Price Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 744-767, Winter.
- Loeb, Martin & Magat, Wesley A, 1979. "A Decentralized Method for Utility Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 399-404, October.
- Michael J. Brennan & Eduardo S. Schwartz, 1982. "Consistent Regulatory Policy under Uncertainty," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 506-521, Autumn.
- Kolbe, A Lawrence & Borucki, Lynda S, 1998. "The Impact of Stranded-Cost Risk on Required Rates of Return for Electric Utilities: Theory and an Example," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 255-275, May.
- Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1982. " Regulation and Corporate Investment Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 289-300, May.
- Salinger, Michael A, 1998. "Regulating Prices to Equal Forward-Looking Costs: Cost-Based Prices or Price-Based Costs?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 149-163, September.
- Beard, T. Randolph & Kaserman, David L. & Mayo, John W., 2003. "Regulation, competition, and the optimal recovery of stranded costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 831-848, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)