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Corruption, Quasi-Rents, and the Regulation of Electric Utilities

John Neufeld ()

The Journal of Economic History, 2008, vol. 68, issue 4, 1059-1097

Abstract: Was the adoption of state utility regulation the result of a negative-sum competition among special interest groups vying for the monopoly rents created by regulation or a positive-sum elimination of corruption arising from appropriable quasi-rents? Previous empirical studies of the adoption of regulation have assumed the former. Using discrete hazard analysis, this study considers the latter and finds the data more consistent with the positive-sum protection of quasi-rents than the negative-sum creation and appropriation of monopoly rents.

Date: 2008
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