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Using Forward Contracts to Reduce Regulatory Capture

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  • Höffler, Felix
  • Kranz, Sebastian

Abstract

A fully unbundled, regulated network firm of unknown efficiency level can untertake unobservable effort to increase the likelihood of low downstream prices, e.g. by facilitating downstream competition. To incentivize such effort, the regulator can use an incentive scheme paying transfers to the firm contingent on realized downstream prices. Alternatively, the regulator can force the firm to sell the following forward contracts: the firm pays the downstream price to the owners of a contract, but recieves the expected value of the contracts when selling them to a competivitve financial market. We compare the two regulatory tools with respect to regulatory capture: if the regulator can be bribed to suppress information on the underlying state of the world (the basic propability of high downstream prices, or the type of the firm), optimal regulation uses forward contracts only.

Suggested Citation

  • Höffler, Felix & Kranz, Sebastian, 2010. "Using Forward Contracts to Reduce Regulatory Capture," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 320, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:320
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Schultz, 2005. "Virtual Capacity and Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1487, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
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    5. Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 2002. "Using Stock Price Information to Regulate Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 169-190.
    6. Severin Borenstein & James. Bushnell & Steven Stoft, 2000. "The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in A Deregulated Electricity Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 294-325, Summer.
    7. Mahenc, P. & Salanie, F., 2004. "Softening competition through forward trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 282-293, June.
    8. Loeb, Martin & Magat, Wesley A, 1979. "A Decentralized Method for Utility Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 399-404, October.
    9. Levine, Michael E & Forrence, Jennifer L, 1990. "Regulatory Capture, Public Interest, and the Public Agenda: Toward a Synthesis," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 167-198.
    10. Liski, Matti & Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2006. "Forward trading and collusion in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 212-230, November.
    11. James Bushnell, 2007. "Oligopoly equilibria in electricity contract markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, pages 225-245.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felix Höffler & Achim Wambach, 2013. "Investment coordination in network industries: the case of electricity grid and electricity generation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 287-307, December.
    2. Höffler, Felix & Wambach, Achim, 2013. "Investment Coordination in Network Industries: The Case of Electricity Grid and Electricity," EWI Working Papers 2013-12, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    incentive regulation; regulatory capture; virtual power plants;

    JEL classification:

    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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