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Government incentive strategies and private capital participation in China’s Shale gas development

Zihan Liu, Ju’e Guo, Shubin Wang and Hongtao Liu

Applied Economics, 2018, vol. 50, issue 1, 51-64

Abstract: Shale gas development investments are uncertain and irreversible in the initial stage in China. Flexible incentive strategy is needed for governments to guide private capital participation at different development stages. This study aims to provide analysis governments can use to encourage private investment in shale gas projects according to its plans in an extended real options framework. A social benefits variable is introduced to determine the threshold of social benefits that determine whether the government will choose a deferred or instant incentives strategy. By considering the efficiency factor, we show the optimal arrangements of two kinds of incentives: tax cuts and production subsidies, to implement incentive targets. The results indicate that current market demand and social benefits are the key factors that affect the government’s choice of incentive strategy. We also find that the optimal level of incentives, either tax cuts or production subsidies, are independent of current market demand and future market uncertainty under the delayed incentive strategy, but which affect the optimal level of incentives under the instant motivation strategy, and ignoring the negative influence of unpredictable random events on future market demand might lead to insufficient government incentives in this case.

Date: 2018
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