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The Dynamic Efficiency of Regulatory Constitutions

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  • Richard J. Gilbert
  • David M. Newbery

Abstract

In this article, we model regulation as a repeated game between a utility facing a random sequence of demands and a regulator tempted to underreward past investment. Rate-of-return regulation designed with a constitutional commitment to an adequate rate of return on capital prudently invested is able to support an efficient investment program as a subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium for a larger set of parameter values than rate-of-return regulation without such a commitment. Furthermore, rate-of-return regulation is superior to price regulation according to the same criterion, assuming that the regulator is unable to make state-contingent transfer payments.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Gilbert & David M. Newbery, 1994. "The Dynamic Efficiency of Regulatory Constitutions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(4), pages 538-554, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:25:y:1994:i:winter:p:538-554
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