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Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Laffont's Lead

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  • Antonio Estache
  • L. Wren-Lewis

Abstract

The efficient operation and expansion of infrastructures in developing countries is crucial for growth and poverty reduction. However, recent reforms aimed at improving the performance of these sectors have had limited success. Evidence suggests that, in many instances, this was because the traditional regulatory theory relied on by policymakers was not suitable for the institutional context in developing countries. This article surveys more recent theoretical work focusing on problems with regulation in these countries. At the heart of the survey is the work of Jean-Jacques Laffont, who, in the last decade of his life, set about developing a theoretical framework for regulation in developing countries. We consider the implications of his work, which focused on the key institutional limitations faced in developing countries. We then discuss where experience suggests that there are important omissions from this modeling, bringing in extensions and alternative approaches pursued by other authors. We conclude by summarizing the key ways in which regulatory policy will be different when institutions are weak. Overall, we find that an understanding of the institutional context and its implications are crucial when designing a regulatory framework for developing countries.
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  • Antonio Estache & L. Wren-Lewis, 2008. "Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Laffont's Lead," Working Papers ECARES 2008_018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2008_018
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    Cited by:

    1. Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Moore, Alexander, 2012. "Infrastructure in developing countries: An overview of some economic issues," Discussion Papers 123305, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    2. Iossa, Elisabetta & Martimort, David, 2016. "Corruption in PPPs, incentives and contract incompleteness," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 85-100.
    3. Fiocco, Raffaele & Scarpa, Carlo, 2014. "The regulation of markets with interdependent demands," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-12.
    4. Ann E. Harrison & Ben Hyman & Leslie A. Martin & Shanthi Nataraj, 2015. "When do Firms Go Green? Comparing Price Incentives with Command and Control Regulations in India," Working Papers WR-1133, RAND Corporation.
    5. Kang, Fei & Hauge, Janice A. & Lu, Ting-Jie, 2012. "Competition and mobile network investment in China’s telecommunications industry," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 901-913.
    6. Bogart, Dan & Chaudhary, Latika, 2015. "Off the rails: Is state ownership bad for productivity?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 997-1013.
    7. Mohamad, Noorihsan, 2014. "Telecommunications reform and efficiency performance: Do good institutions matter?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 49-65.
    8. Antonio Estache & Tomas Serebrisky & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2015. "Financing infrastructure in developing countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3-4), pages 279-304.
    9. Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
    10. repec:eee:juipol:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:122-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ackerberg, Daniel A. & DeRemer, David R. & Riordan, Michael H. & Rosston, Gregory L. & Wimmer, Bradley S., 2014. "Estimating the impact of low-income universal service programs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 84-98.
    12. Camos Daurella,Daniel & Estache,Antonio, 2017. "Regulating water and sanitation network services accounting for institutional and informational constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8149, The World Bank.
    13. Petar Stankov, 2010. "Deregulation, Economic Growth and Growth Acceleration," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp424, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    14. Wren-Lewis, Liam, 2014. "Utility regulation in Africa: How relevant is the British model?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 203-205.
    15. repec:eee:enepol:v:114:y:2018:i:c:p:22-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Mande Buafua, Patrick, 2015. "Efficiency of urban water supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do organization and regulation matter?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 13-22.
    17. Trillas, Francesc & Xifré, Ramon, 2016. "Institutional reforms to integrate regulation and competition policy: Economic analysis, international perspectives, and the case of the CNMC in Spain," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 75-87.
    18. Antonio Estache & Caroline Philippe, 2012. "The Impact of Private Participation in Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Taking Stock of about 20 Years of Experience," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-043, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    19. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/325 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Adams, Samuel & Atsu, Francis, 2015. "Assessing the distributional effects of regulation in developing countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 713-725.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development

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