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Political Price Cycles In Regulated Industries: Theory And Evidence

  • Rodrigo Menon S. Moita
  • Claudio Paiva

This paper develops a model of political regulation in which politicians set the regulated price in order to maximize electoral support by signaling to voters a pro-consumer behavior. Political incentives and welfare constraints interact in the model, yielding an equilibrium in which the real price in a regulated industry may fall in periods immediately preceding an election. The paper also provides empirical support for the theoretical model. Using quarterly data from 32 industrial and developing countries over 1978-2004, we find strong statistical and econometric evidence pointing toward the existence of electoral price cycles in gasoline markets.

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Paper provided by ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics] in its series Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] with number 126.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anp:en2006:126
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  1. Bishop, John Hillman, 1989. "Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 178-97, March.
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  9. Paiva, Claudio A. C., 1996. "Electoral price cycles in regulated industries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1673-1680, October.
  10. Kevin M. Murphy & Sam Peltzman, 2004. "School Performance and the Youth Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 299-328, April.
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  14. Moita, Rodrigo M. & Paiva, Claudio, 2006. "Political Price Cycles in Regulated Industries: Theory and Evidence," Insper Working Papers wpe_55, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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  17. Spiller, Pablo T, 1990. "Politicians, Interest Groups, and Regulators: A Multiple-Principals Agency Theory of Regulation, or "Let Them Be Bribed."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 65-101, April.
  18. Peltzman, Sam, 1993. "George Stigler's Contribution to the Economic Analysis of Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 818-32, October.
  19. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
  20. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2367-2420, November.
  21. Ioannis N. Kessides, 2004. "Reforming Infrastructure : Privatization, Regulation, and Competition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13525.
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