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Firm Regulation and Profit-Sharing: A Real Option Approach

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  • Michele Moretto

    () (Universit… di Padova)

  • Paola Valbonesi

    () (Universit… di Padova)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi, 2007. "Firm Regulation and Profit-Sharing: A Real Option Approach," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0052, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0052
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lyon, Thomas P, 1996. "A Model of Sliding-Scale Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 227-247, May.
    2. 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.
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    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chiara D'Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi, 2008. "Optimal penalty for investment delay in public procurement contracts," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0074, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    2. Chiara D'Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi & Sergio Vergalli, 2009. "It is never too late: Optimal penalty for investment delay in public procurement contracts," Working Papers 0907, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy

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