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Dynamic Regulation of Public Good Quality

  • Stéphane Auray
  • Thomas Mariotti
  • Fabien Moizeau

We investigate the design of incentives for public good quality provision in a dynamic regulation setting in which maintenance efforts and quality shocks have durable effects. When the regulator contracts with a sequence of agents, asymmetries of information can lead to over-provision of quality under optimal regulation, reflecting a dynamic rent extraction motive. When the regulator hires a single agent to manage public good quality, over-provision of quality can also occur as a result of quality pooling, which typically occurs if quality depreciates slowly and the discount factor is large. We further show that for small levels of asymmetric information, the regulator prefers to hire a single agent rather than to contract with a sequence of agents, provided all parties can commit to a long-term contract. When no such commitment is feasible, the fact that quality physically links periods together leads to a ratchet effect even when private information is recurring, and shorter franchises are beneficial from a social point of view.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0610.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0610
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  1. Freixas, Xavier & Guesnerie, Roger & Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 173-91, April.
  2. De Fraja, Gianni & Iozzi, Alberto, 2004. "Bigger and Better: A Dynamic Regulatory Mechanism for Optimum Quality," CEPR Discussion Papers 4502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gérard Gaudet & Pierre Lasserre & Ngo Van Long, 1995. "Dynamic Incentive Contracts with Uncorrelated Private Information and History Dependent Outcomes," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-37, CIRANO.
  4. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
  5. Dennis Gaertner, 2004. "Endogenizing Private Information: Incentive Contracts under Learning By Doing," SOI - Working Papers 0413, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  6. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  8. Laffont, J-J. & Tirole, J., 1989. "Provision Of Quality And Power Of Incentive Schemes In Regulated Industries," Working papers 528, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
  10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean., 1988. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Working Papers 665, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1992. "Incentives for Conservation and Quality-Improvement by Public Utilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1321-40, December.
  12. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1985. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Working papers 397, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Gaudet, Gerard & Lassere, Pierre & Long, Ngo Van, 1995. "Optimal Resource Royalties with Unknown and Temporally Independent Extraction Cost Structures," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 715-49, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Tracy R. Lewis & Huseyin Yildirim, 2002. "Learning by Doing and Dynamic Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(1), pages 22-36, Spring.
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