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Externalities, Decreasing Returns, and Common Ownership

  • Simpson, R. David
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    Placing production units under common ownership is often suggested as a solution to the problem of externalities. This will not always be true when there are decreasing returns to scale. An atomistic industry could be more efficient than a monopoly in some instances. Even when the "optimal" industry configuration would involve a finite number of producers, no two may have appropriate incentives to combine. An omniscient and benign regulator can always assure a more efficient outcome than would result from the combination of private producers. Whether real-world regulators should be called upon, however, is less clear.

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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-01-41.pdf
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    Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-01-41.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-01-41
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rff.org

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    1. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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