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Optimal regulation of lumpy investments


  • Gijsbert Zwart


  • Peter Broer



We study optimal timing of regulated investment in a real options setting, in which the regulated monopolist has private information on investment costs. In solving the ensuing agency problem, the regulator trades off investment timing inefficiency against the dead-weight loss arising from high price caps. We show that optimal regulation is implemented by a price cap that decreases as a function of the monopolist's chosen investment time.

Suggested Citation

  • Gijsbert Zwart & Peter Broer, 2012. "Optimal regulation of lumpy investments," CPB Discussion Paper 214, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:214

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    Cited by:

    1. Zwart, Gijsbert & Willems, Bert, 2016. "Regulatory holidays and optimal network expansion," Research Report 16007-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    2. Wen, Xingang & Hagspiel, V. & Kort, Peter, 2017. "Subsidized Capacity Investment under Uncertainty," Discussion Paper 2017-043, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Brito Duarte & Pereira Pedro & Vareda João, 2013. "Investment, Dynamic Consistency and the Sectoral Regulator’s Objective," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 563-594, August.
    4. Michael Crew & Rami Kahlon, 2014. "Guaranteed return regulation: a case study of regulation of water in California," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 112-121, August.
    5. Marques, Vítor & Bento, Nuno & Costa, Paulo Moisés, 2014. "The “Smart Paradox”: Stimulate the deployment of smart grids with effective regulatory instruments," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 96-103.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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