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Regulatory Risk under Optimal Incentive Regulation

  • Roland Strausz

The paper provides a tractable, analytical framework to study regulatory risk. Regulatory risk is captured by uncertainty about the policy variables in the regulator’s objective function: weights attached to profits and costs of public funds. Results are as follows: 1) The regulator’s reaction to regulatory risk depends on the curvature of aggregate demand. 2) It yields a positive information rent effect exactly when demand is convex. 3) Firms benefit from regulatory risk exactly when demand is convex. 4) Consumers’ risk preferences tend to contradict the firm’s. 5) Benevolent regulators always prefer regulatory risk and these preferences may contradict both the firm’s and consumers’.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-05/cesifo1_wp2638.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2638.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2638
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  1. Thomas P. Lyon, 1991. "Regulation with 20-20 Hindsight: "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose"?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 581-595, Winter.
  2. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 597-625, October.
  3. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  4. Paolo M. Panteghini & Carlo Scarpa, 2003. "Irreversible Investments and Regulatory Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 934, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  6. David J. Salant & Glenn A. Woroch, 1992. "Trigger Price Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 29-51, Spring.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
  8. 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.
  9. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Samuelson, Paul A, 1972. "The Consumer Does Benefit From Feasible Price Stability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 476-93, August.
  11. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Roland Strausz, . "Deterministic versus Stochastic Mechanisms in Principal--Agent Models," Papers 020, Departmental Working Papers.
  13. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  14. Robert S. Pindyck, 1986. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Mayo, 2005. "Regulatory Opportunism and Investment Behavior: Evidence from the U.S. Electric Utility Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 628-644, Autumn.
  16. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  17. Kolbe, A Lawrence & Tye, William B, 1996. "Compensation for the risk of stranded costs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1025-1050, December.
  18. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2006. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds in Developing Countries: An Application to 38 African Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 6007, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Chang, Mo Ahn & Thompson, Howard E, 1989. "An Analysis of Some Aspects of Regulatory Risk and the Required Rate of Return for Public Utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 241-57, September.
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