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Can Poorly Informed Regulators Hinder Competition?


  • Ana Espinola-Arredondo


  • Felix Munoz-Garcia

    (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)


This paper considers an entry-deterrence game in which environmental policy is set without perfectly observing the incumbent firm's costs. We investigate if regulators, who can have an informational advantage relative to the potential entrant, support entry-deterring practices. The paper demonstrates that, while entry-deterring equilibria only emerge under restrictive conditions when the regulator is perfectly informed, these equilibria arise under larger settings as he becomes uninformed. Furthermore, we show that the regulator is willing to support the incumbent?s entry-deterring practices regardless of his degree of information if entry costs are sufficiently high. However, when entry costs are lower, the regulator only sustains this type of practices if he is poorly informed.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Espinola-Arredondo & Felix Munoz-Garcia, 2013. "Can Poorly Informed Regulators Hinder Competition?," Working Papers 2013-3, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:espinola-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tracy R. Lewis, 1996. "Protecting the Environment When Costs and Benefits Are Privately Known," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 819-847, Winter.
    2. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1991. "Oligopoly Limit Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 155-172, Summer.
    3. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
    4. Farrell, Joseph, 1987. "Information and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-129, Fall.
    5. Schultz, Christian, 1999. "Limit pricing when incumbents have conflicting interests," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 801-825, August.
    6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
    7. David B. Ridley, 2008. "Herding versus Hotelling: Market Entry with Costly Information," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 607-631, September.
    8. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-177, March.
    9. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    10. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    11. Stavins, Robert N., 1996. "Correlated Uncertainty and Policy Instrument Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 218-232, March.
    12. Thomas Alban, 1995. "Regulating Pollution under Asymmetric Information: The Case of Industrial Wastewater Treatment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 357-373, May.
    13. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
    14. Ana Espínola-Arredondo & Félix Muñoz-Garcia & Jude Bayham, 2014. "The Entry-Deterring Effects of Inflexible Regulation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(1), pages 298-324, February.
    15. Espínola-Arredondo, Ana & Muñoz-García, Félix, 2013. "When does environmental regulation facilitate entry-deterring practices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 133-152.
    16. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1991. "Environmental policy under imperfect information: Incentives and moral hazard," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 113-126, March.
    17. Lambert Schoonbeek & Frans Vries, 2009. "Environmental taxes and industry monopolization," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 94-106, August.
    18. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
    19. Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1987. "Oligopolistic Entry Deterrence under Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 211-231, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Espínola-Arredondo & Félix Muñoz-García, 2016. "Profit-enhancing environmental policy: uninformed regulation in an entry-deterrence model," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 146-163, October.
    2. Muñoz-Garcia Félix & Espinola-Arredondo Ana, 2015. "The Signaling Role of Subsidies," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, January.

    More about this item


    Entry deterrence; Signaling; Emission fees; Informational advantage;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics


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