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Catching-Up Investment without Regulatory Commitment

Dag Morten Dalen

Journal of Regulatory Economics, 2000, vol. 18, issue 2, 133-50

Abstract: This paper analyses a regulated firm's incentives to undertake catching-up investments when the firm has private information about the initial technology and the regulator is unable to commit himself to incentive contracts prior to the firm's investment decision. In the absence of commitment power, the firm takes into account that the investment decision may serve as a signal to the regulator about the firm's initial technology. Any pure strategy equilibrium of the signaling game is shown to be pooling in the sense that the efficient type mimics the inefficient type by investing. By not following this strategy, the efficient type reveals its efficiency to the regulator, who responds by inducing the firm to produce without rents. Restricting attention to undefeated pooling equilibria, the level of investment is shown to be lower than the first-best level. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 2000
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