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The Dynamic Efficiency of Regulatory Constitutions

Richard Gilbert and David M Newbery ()

RAND Journal of Economics, 1994, vol. 25, issue 4, 538-554

Abstract: In this article, we model regulation as a repeated game between a utility facing a random sequence of demands and a regulator tempted to underreward past investment. Rate-of-return regulation designed with a constitutional commitment to an adequate rate of return on capital prudently invested is able to support an efficient investment program as a subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium for a larger set of parameter values than rate-of-return regulation without such a commitment. Furthermore, rate-of-return regulation is superior to price regulation according to the same criterion, assuming that the regulator is unable to make state-contingent transfer payments.

Date: 1994
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