Economics of Public Utility Regulation
The Economics of Public Utility Regulation surveys the large literature on the regulation of public utilities and provides industry studies with specific applications of the more general theories. The industries covered Include telecommunications, More...
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Publisher: MIT Press
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The Economics of Public Utility Regulation surveys the large literature on the regulation of public utilities and provides industry studies with specific applications of the more general theories. The industries covered Include telecommunications, electricity, gas, and water. The authors explain the economic concepts involved And present a rich framework for understanding the institutional and administrative context of the regulatory process. Michael Crew and Paul Kleindorfer consolidated their reputations as experts in the field of regulated public utilities in 1979, when their book Public Utility Economics was published. Since then, theoretical concepts for dealing with utilities have been significantly extended, and utilities themselves have been dramatically transformed. This new book presents an indispensible update. The opening section introduces the basic welfare foundations, including a neoclassical treatment of efficiency and equity and a development of the principles of the new institutional economics. These concepts are then employed to examine the problems of natural monopoly and regulation. The material on welfare-optimal pricing puts special emphasis on the peak-load pricing problem, which is shown to be pervasive in public utilities of all varieties. Both deterministic models and stochastic models of peak-load pricing are examined. Alternative governance structures for natural monopoly are evaluated in some detail, with the U.S. system of privately owned regulated monopolies and the predominant governance structure in the U.S. - rate-of-return regulation - receiving the greatest attention. The authors next take a close-up look at four specific public utilities focusing on pricing and efficiency. Michael A. Crew is Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Management, Rutgers University. Paul R. Kleindorfer is Professor of Decision Sciences and Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Center for the Study of Organizational Innovation. The Economics of Public Utility Regulation is the thirteenth in the MIT Press Series on the Regulation of Economic Activity, edited by Richard Schmalensee.