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Using Forward Contracts to Reduce Regulatory Capture

  • Felix Höffler


    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Sebastian Kranz


    (University of Bonn, Department of Economics)

A fully unbundled, regulated network fi?rm of unknown efficiency level can undertake unobservable effort to increase the likelihood of low downstream prices, e.g., by facilitating downstream competition. To incentivize such effort, the regulator can use an incentive scheme paying transfers to the ?firm contingent on realized downstream prices. Alternatively, the regulator can propose to the ?firm to sell the following forward contracts: the fi?rm pays the downstream price to the owners of a contract, but receives the expected value of the contracts when selling them to a competitive fi?nancial market. We compare the two regulatory tools with respect to regulatory capture: if the regulator can be bribed to suppress information on the underlying state of the world (the basic probability of high downstream prices, or the type of the firm), optimal regulation uses forward contracts only.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2011_09.

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Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2011_09
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  1. Severin Borenstein & James Bushnell & Steven Stoft, 1997. "The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in a Deregulated Electricity Industry," NBER Working Papers 6293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Matti Liski & Juan-Pablo Montero, 2004. "Forward trading and collusion in oligopoly," Working Papers 0412, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
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  7. Levine, Michael E & Forrence, Jennifer L, 1990. "Regulatory Capture, Public Interest, and the Public Agenda: Toward a Synthesis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 167-98.
  8. Mahenc, P. & Salanie, F., 2004. "Softening competition through forward trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 282-293, June.
  9. James Bushnell, 2007. "Oligopoly equilibria in electricity contract markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 225-245, December.
  10. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
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  12. 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, June.
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