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Irreversible Investments and Regulatory Risk

  • Paolo M. Panteghini
  • Carlo Scarpa

This paper addresses the issue of how regulatory constraints affect firm’s investment choices when the firm has an option to delay investment. The RPI-x rule is compared to a profit sharing rule, which increases the x factor in case profits go beyond a given level. It is shown that a pure price cap and profit sharing are identical in their impact on investment choices: the change in the option value that we have with a profit sharing regime exactly compensates the change in the “direct“ profitability of investment. Regulatory risk – breaching of the regulatory contract – may or may not affect negatively investment decisions. Even if a distortion exists, we show that this distortion is the same, even if a pure price cap could be considered riskier than a profit sharing rule.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 934.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_934
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  1. Ai, Chunrong & Sappington, David E M, 2002. "The Impact of State Incentive Regulation on the U.S. Telecommunications Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 133-59, September.
  2. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-77, August.
  3. Crew, Michael A & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1996. "Incentive Regulation in the United Kingdom and the United States: Some Lessons," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 211-25, May.
  4. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Irreversible Investment with Price Ceilings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 541-57, June.
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  6. Sappington, David E. M. & Weisman, Dennis L., 1996. "Revenue sharing in incentive regulation plans," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 229-248, September.
  7. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1995. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," NBER Working Papers 5091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Sandmo, Agnar, 1979. "A note on the neutrality of the cash flow corporation tax," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 173-176.
  10. Lyon, Thomas P, 1996. "A Model of Sliding-Scale Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 227-47, May.
  11. M.E. Beesley & S.C. Littlechild, 1989. "The Regulation of Privatized Monopolies in the United Kingdom," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 454-472, Autumn.
  12. Panteghini, Paolo & Carlo Scarpa, 2002. "Incentives to (irreversible) investments under different regulatory regimes," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 154, Royal Economic Society.
  13. Cummins, J.G. & Hassett, K.A. & Hubbard, R.G., 1995. "tax Reforms and Investment: A Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers 95-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Sumru Altug & Michel Demers, 2001. "The Impact of Tax Risk and Persistence on Investment Decisions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(1), pages 1-5.
  15. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
  16. Burns, Philip & Turvey, Ralph & Weyman-Jones, Thomas G, 1998. "The Behaviour of the Firm under Alternative Regulatory Constraints," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(2), pages 133-57, May.
  17. Weisman, Dennis L, 1993. "Superior Regulatory Regimes in Theory and Practice," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 355-66, December.
  18. Panteghini, Paolo & Scarpa, Carlo, 2003. "The Distributional Efficiency of Alternative Regulatory Regimes: A Real Option Approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 403-18, August.
  19. Colin Mayer & John Vickers, 1996. "Profit-sharing regulation: an economic appraisal," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 1-18, February.
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