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Effects of Regulation on Utility Financing: Theory and Evidence

  • Robert A. Taggart, Jr.
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    This paper examines the financing decisions of regulated public utilities. It is argued that the regulatory process affects utility financing choices both by conditioning the environment in which these choices are made and by creating opportunities for firms to influence the regulated price through strategic financing behavior. The nature of this regulatory effect continually changes, however, as economic conditions change and as regulators, firms and consumers adapt to one another's decisions. The direction of the impact on utility financing, therefore, may differ both over time and across regulatory jurisdictions. This theory of regulatory influence is tested by examining several episodes in the financing experience of U.S. electric utilities from 1912 to 1979. Evidence of a regulatory effect on utility financing is found particularly for the early years of state commission regulation. Examples of an adaptive response pattern on the part of regulators, firms and consumers are also cited.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0866.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0866.

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    Date of creation: Mar 1982
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    Publication status: published as Taggart, Robert A. "Effects of Regulation on Utility Financing: Theory and Evidence." Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 33, No. 3, (March 1985) , pp. 257-276.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0866
    Note: ME
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    1. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
    2. Thomas F. Cargill & Thomas Mayer, 1992. "U.S. Deposit Insurance Reform," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(3), pages 95-103, 07.
    3. Merton, Robert C., 1977. "An analytic derivation of the cost of deposit insurance and loan guarantees An application of modern option pricing theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-11, June.
    4. Elton, Edwin J & Gruber, Martin J, 1971. "Valuation and the Cost of Capital for Regulated Industries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 26(3), pages 661-70, June.
    5. Buser, Stephen A & Chen, Andrew H & Kane, Edward J, 1981. "Federal Deposit Insurance, Regulatory Policy, and Optimal Bank Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 51-60, March.
    6. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    7. Roger H. Gordon & Burton G. Malkiel, 1980. "Taxation and Corporation Finance," NBER Working Papers 0576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Taggart, Robert A, Jr, 1977. "A Model of Corporate Financing Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1467-84, December.
    9. Jarrell, Gregg A, 1978. "The Demand for State Regulation of the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 269-95, October.
    10. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    11. Robichek, Alexander A, 1978. "Regulation and Modern Finance Theory," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(3), pages 693-705, June.
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