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Firm Regulation and Profit-Sharing: A Real Option Approach

  • Michele Moretto

    ()

    (Universit… di Padova)

  • Paola Valbonesi

    ()

    (Universit… di Padova)

To avoid the extremely high profit levels found in recent experience of public utilities' regulation, some regulators have introduced a profit-sharing (PS) rule that revises prices to the benefit of consumers. However, in order to be successful, a PS rule should satisfy appropriate incentive conditions. In this paper, we study the incentive properties of a second best PS mechanism designed by the regulator to induce a regulated monopolist to divert its "excessive" profits to the customers. In a real option model where a regulated monopolist manages a long-term franchise contract and the regulator has the option to revoke the contract if there is serious welfare loss, we first endogenously derive the welfare maximising PS rule under the verifiability of profits. We then explore the dynamic efficiency of this PS rule under non-verifiability of profits and study the firm's incentive to comply with it in an infinite-horizon game. Finally, we derive the price adjustment path which follows the adoption of a PS rule in a price cap regulation. We show that the riskiness of the distribution of the firm's future profits and the regulator's cost in revoking the franchise contract are key factors in determining the equilibrium properties of a dynamic PS rule.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0052.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0052
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  1. Michele Moretto & Paolo M. Panteghini & Carlo Scarpa, 2003. "Investment Size and Firm’s Value Under Profit Sharing Regulation," Working Papers 2003.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
  3. 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.
  4. Klein, Daniel B. & O'Flaherty, Brendan, 1993. "A game-theoretic rendering of promises and threats," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 295-314, August.
  5. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
  6. Bawa, Vijay S & Sibley, David S, 1980. "Dynamic Behavior of a Firm Subject to Stochastic Regulatory Review," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(3), pages 627-42, October.
  7. Crew, Michael A & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1996. "Incentive Regulation in the United Kingdom and the United States: Some Lessons," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 211-25, May.
  8. Sappington, David E. M. & Weisman, Dennis L., 1996. "Revenue sharing in incentive regulation plans," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 229-248, September.
  9. Simon, Leo K. & Stinchcombe, Maxwell B., 1987. "Extensive From Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt03x115sh, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  11. Bergin, James & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Continuous Time Repeated Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 21-37, February.
  12. Lyon, Thomas P, 1996. "A Model of Sliding-Scale Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 227-47, May.
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