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Liberal Regulation: Privatization of Natural Monopolies with Adverse Selection



This paper studies the effect of soft-budget constraints in a pure adverse selection model of monopoly regulation. We consider a government maximizing total surplus but incurring some cost of public funds A la Laffont Tirole (1993). We propose a regulatory set-up in which firms are free to enter natural monopoly markets and to choose their price and output levels as in the laisser-faire. In addition, the government proposes ex-post contracts to the private firms. We show that this regulatory set-up allows governments to avoid re-funding moneyloosing firms and that welfare is larger than under traditional regulationwhere governments commits to both investment and operation cash-flows.
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Suggested Citation

  • E Auriol & P M Picard, 2004. "Liberal Regulation: Privatization of Natural Monopolies with Adverse Selection," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0403, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:man:sespap:0403

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
    2. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-319, March.
    3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, July.
    4. Snow, Arthur & Warren, Ronald Jr., 1996. "The marginal welfare cost of public funds: Theory and estimates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 289-305, August.
    5. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Credit and Efficiency in Centralized and Decentralized Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 541-555.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    7. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
    8. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Incomplete contracts and privatization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 569-579, April.
    9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 84-105, Special I.
    10. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
    11. Schmidt, Klaus M, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Privatization: An Incomplete Contracts Approach," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-24, April.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30747197 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
    14. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
    15. McGuire, Thomas G. & Riordan, Michael H., 1995. "Incomplete information and optimal market structure public purchases from private providers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 125-141, January.
    16. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Picard, Pierre M., 2004. "Privatizations in Developing Countries and the Government's Budget Constraint," IDEI Working Papers 459, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    17. Eric S. Maskin, 1999. "Recent Theoretical Work on the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 421-425, May.
    18. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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