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Open-Access Issues in the Chilean Telecommunications and Electricity Sectors

Este trabajo analiza la crisis eléctrica de 1998-1999. Su principal conclusión es que el diagnóstico habitual que sostiene que ocurrió porque las empresas no invirtieron y el regulador no tenía atribuciones, es equivocado. A pesar de la peor sequía del siglo y de la falla de la central Nehuenco, los cortes de energía y el déficit agregado de 450 GWh se podrían haber evitado si el agua embalsada se hubiese manejado recientemente, o bien los reguladores hubiesen usado sus atribuciones para hacer funcionar el sistema de precios, o si el ejecutivo no hubiese temido afectar su imagen decretando racionamiento apenas las condiciones lo exigieran. Argumentamos que la variabilidad hidrológica a la que está sujeta Chile central hace inevitable las reducciones de consumo en años muy secos. Las crisis ocurren porque el sistema de precios es inflexible e inadecuado para acomodarlas sin cortes de energía; ante una escasez tanto usuarios como empresas enfrentan precios muy por debajo del costo de oportunidad de la energía. Esto, además, introduce un problema de moral hazard que incentiva el uso ineficiente del agua embalsada y hace más probable que ocurra una escasez. Es equivocado pensar que las crisis se evitarían dándole más atribuciones discrecionales al regulador. Varios episodios muestran que no usó las atribuciones que tenía. Al ejecutivo le incomoda zanjar conflictos entre privados porque sus intervenciones tienen consecuencias patrimoniales que lo dejan vulnerable a las críticas de quienes se sienten perjudicados. Por ello se debe liberar al regulador de la obligación de zanjar conflictos entre privados. Esto requiere liberalizar la regulación.

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Paper provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its series ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers with number inv124.

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Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv124
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  1. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
  2. Nicholas Economides & Lawrence J. White, 1995. "Access and Interconnection Pricing: How Efficient is the Efficient Component Pricing Rule?," Working Papers 95-04, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Pablo T. Spiller & Carlo G. Cardilli, 1997. "The Frontier of Telecommunications Deregulation: Small Countries Leading the Pack," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 127-138, Fall.
  4. Hardman Moore, John & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 60, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bitran, E. & Serra, Pablo, 1994. "Regulatory issues in the privatization of public utilities: The chilean experience," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(Supplemen), pages 179-197.
  6. J. Gregory Sidak & William Baumol, 1994. "Toward Competition in Local Telephony," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 52984, 3.
  7. Carlos Díaz & Alexander Galetovic & Raimundo Soto, 1999. "Anatomía de una crisis eléctrica," Documentos de Trabajo 64, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  8. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  9. Schwartz, Marius, 1986. "The Nature and Scope of Contestability Theory," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 37-57, Suppl. No.
  10. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Unforseen Contingencies, Property Rights, and Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1796, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. 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.
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