IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nuf/econwp/1203.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Regulated Prices, Rent-Seeking, and Consumer Surplus

Author

Listed:
  • Jeremy Bulow

    () (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA)

  • Paul Klemperer

    () (Nuffield College, Oxford University)

Abstract

Price controls lead to misallocation of goods and encourage rent-seeking. The misallocation effect alone ensures that a price control always reduces consumer surplus in an otherwise-competitive market with convex demand if supply is more elastic than demand; or with log-convex demand (e.g., constantelasticity) even if supply is inelastic. The same results apply whether rationed goods are allocated by costless lottery, or whether costly rent-seeking and/or partial decontrol mitigates the inefficiency. Our analysis exploits the observation that in any market, consumer surplus equals the area between the demand curve and the industry marginal revenue curve.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2012. "Regulated Prices, Rent-Seeking, and Consumer Surplus," Economics Papers 2012-W03, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1203
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2012/bkfinal.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, August.
    2. Palda, Filip, 2000. "Some deadweight losses from the minimum wage: the cases of full and partial compliance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 751-783, November.
    3. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S. & Gonzalez-Minguez, Jose M., 2005. "Exchange-rate pass-through to import prices in the euro area," IESE Research Papers D/609, IESE Business School.
    4. José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2005. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 679-690, November.
    5. An, Mark Yuying, 1998. "Logconcavity versus Logconvexity: A Complete Characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-369, June.
    6. Welch, Finis, 1974. "Minimum Wage Legislation in the United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 285-318, September.
    7. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Harrington & John M. Vernon, 2005. "Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 4th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 4, volume 1, number 026222075x, January.
    8. Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Optimal Auction Design," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 58-73, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. John Bennett & Ioana Chioveanu, 2017. "The optimal minimum wage with regulatory uncertainty," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(6), pages 1099-1116, December.
    2. Andersson, Tommy & Yang, Zaifu & Zhang, Dongmo, 2015. "How to efficiently allocate houses under price controls?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 97-99.
    3. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2016. "Multiproduct Pricing Made Simple," MPRA Paper 68717, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Aditya Bhave & Eric Budish, 2017. "Primary-Market Auctions for Event Tickets: Eliminating the Rents of 'Bob the Broker'?," NBER Working Papers 23770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ritz, Robert, 2016. "Oligopolistic competition and welfare," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1680, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Radygin, Alexander & Entov, Revold, 2013. ""Fundamental" theorem of privatization: ideology, evolution, practice," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 7-45, December.
    7. Chen Ling & David Scrogin, 2014. "Optimal pricing of public lotteries and comparison of competing mechanisms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(26), pages 3211-3223, September.
    8. David H. Autor & Christopher J. Palmer & Parag A. Pathak, 2014. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from the End of Rent Control in Cambridge, Massachusetts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 661-717.
    9. Iñaki Aguirre & Simon G. Cowan, 2015. "Monopoly price discrimination with constant elasticity demand," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(2), pages 329-340, October.
    10. Peter Neary & Monika Mrazova, 2013. "Not so demanding: Preference structure, firm behavior, and welfare," Economics Series Working Papers 691, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:bla:randje:v:48:y:2017:i:2:p:467-484 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David & Li, Deyuan & Li, Hongyi & Resnick, Sidney & de Vries, Casper G., 2016. "The impact of competition on prices with numerous firms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 1-24.
    13. Zhu Wang & Julian Wright, 2012. "Ad-valorem platform fees and efficient price discrimination," Working Paper 12-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    14. Casey B. Mulligan & Kevin K. Tsui, 2016. "The Upside-down Economics of Regulated and Otherwise Rigid Prices," NBER Working Papers 22305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Herings P.J.J., 2015. "Equilibrium and matching under price controls," Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    16. repec:eee:pubeco:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:56-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Bennett, John & Chioveanu, Ioana, 2016. "Pro-Consumer Price Ceilings under Regulatory Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 72161, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Mark A. C. Kattenberg & Wolter H. J. Hassink, 2017. "Who Moves Out of Social Housing? The Effect of Rent Control on Housing Tenure Choice," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 43-66, March.
    19. Aart Gerritsen, 2016. "How Many Harberger Triangles Does it Take to Fill one Okun Gap?," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-05, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    20. Alexander Radygin & Revold Entov, 2014. "The Fundamental Privatization Theorem: Ideology, Evolution, Practice," Working Papers 0087, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2014.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price Control; Rationing; Allocative Efficiency; Microeconomic Theory; Marginal Revenue; Minimum Wage; Rent Control; Consumer Welfare; Rent Seeking;

    JEL classification:

    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1203. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maxine Collett). General contact details of provider: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.