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Licences, "Use or Lose" Provisions and the Time of Investment

  • Michele Moretto

    (University of Padova)

  • Cesare Dosi

    (University of Padova, and CRIEP - Centro Universitario)

Exclusive rights granted by public authorities, like concessions to develop natural resources or electromagnetic spectrum licences, often have option-like features. However, to avoid licences being unused for lengthy periods, regulators sometimes set time limits, after which the exclusive right of exercise may be revoked. In this paper we analyse the impact of use or lose ("UOL") provisions upon the private time of investment. We find that the risk of losing the licence because of inaction generally increases the probability of early investment. However, when capital costs are expected to decline over time, UOL provisions may involve a "perverse effect", by increasing, rather than reducing, the expected time of investment, with respect to a situation where the date of investment is left entirely to the licencee’s discretion.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.24.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.24
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  1. Lambrecht, Bart & Perraudin, William, 2003. "Real options and preemption under incomplete information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 619-643, February.
  2. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
  3. Kristian R. Miltersen & Eduardo S. Schwartz, 2007. "Real Options With Uncertain Maturity and Competition," NBER Working Papers 12990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
  5. Carr, Peter, 1998. "Randomization and the American Put," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 597-626.
  6. Michele Moretto & Cesare Dosi, 2009. "Auctioning Monopoly Franchises: Award Criteria and Service Launch Requirements," Working Papers 2009.23, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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