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Price caps regulation with capacity precommitment

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  • Lemus Torres, Ana Belén
  • Moreno Ruiz, Diego

Abstract

In order to examine the effectiveness of price caps to regulate imperfectly competitive markets in which the demand is uncertain, we study a monopoly that makes irreversible capacity investments ex-ante, and then chooses its output upon observing the realization of demand. When capacity decisions have no precommitment value, price cap regulation remains fully effective. With capacity precommitment, however, the optimal price cap must trade off the incentives for capacity investment and capacity withholding, and is above the unit cost of capacity. While a price cap mitigates market power, it cannot eliminate inefficiencies. Capacity payments provide a useful complementary instrument.

Suggested Citation

  • Lemus Torres, Ana Belén & Moreno Ruiz, Diego, 2014. "Price caps regulation with capacity precommitment," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1309, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1309
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stanley Reynolds & David Rietzke, 2015. "Price caps, oligopoly, and entry," Working Papers 80998880, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    2. Reynolds, Stanley S. & Wilson, Bart J., 2000. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Competition, Demand Uncertainty, and Asymmetric Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 122-141, May.
    3. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Sougata Poddar, 1997. "Demand fluctuations and capacity utilization under duopoly," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 10(1), pages 131-146.
    4. Grimm Veronika & Zöttl Gregor, 2010. "Price Regulation under Demand Uncertainty," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-34, June.
    5. Cabral, Luis M B & Riordan, Michael H, 1989. "Incentives for Cost Reduction under Price Cap Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 93-102, June.
    6. Roques, Fabien A. & Savva, Nicos, 2009. "Investment under uncertainty with price ceilings in oligopolies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 507-524, February.
    7. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Irreversible Investment with Price Ceilings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 541-557, June.
    8. Ian M. Dobbs, 2004. "Intertemporal price cap regulation under uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 421-440, April.
    9. Robert L. Earle & Karl Schmedders & Tymon Tatur, 2002. "Price Caps and Uncertain Demands," Discussion Papers 1340, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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    Keywords

    Monopoly;

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