nep-reg New Economics Papers
on Regulation
Issue of 2021‒11‒29
eleven papers chosen by
Christopher Decker
Oxford University

  1. Incentive Regulation, Productivity Growth and Environmental Effects: The Case of Electricity Networks in Great Britain By Ajayi, V.; Anaya, K.; Pollitt, M .G.
  2. Dynamic Pricing of Credit Cards and the Effects of Regulation By Suting Hong; Robert M. Hunt; Konstantinos Serfes
  3. Data governance and the regulation of the platform economy By Oscar Borgogno; Michele Savini Zangrandi
  4. Quality Selection in Two-Sided Markets: A Constrained Price Discrimination Approach By Johari, Ramesh; Light, Bar; Weintraub, Gabriel Y.
  5. Die 10. GWB-Novelle: Neue Wettbewerbsregeln für die Digitalökonomie By Budzinski, Oliver; Polk, Andreas
  6. Rooftop Solar PV and the Peak Load Problem in the NEM’s Queensland Region By Simshauser, P.
  7. Rapid cost decrease of renewables and storage accelerates the decarbonization of China's power system. By He, Gang; Lin, Jiang; Sifuentes, Froylan; Liu, Xu; Abhyankar, Nikit; Phadke, Amol
  8. Where Are Buyers of Used Electric Vehicles in California? By Tal, Gil; Davis, Adam
  9. The Little Engines That Could – Game Industry Platforms and the New Drivers of Digitalization By Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo; Salakka, Kaisa
  10. The Anatomy of a Hospital System Merger: The Patient Did Not Respond Well to Treatment By Martin Gaynor; Adam Sacarny; Raffaella Sadun; Chad Syverson; Shruthi Venkatesh
  11. COVID-19 pandemic increases the divide between cash and cashless payment users in Europe By Radoslaw Kotkowski; Michal Polasik

  1. By: Ajayi, V.; Anaya, K.; Pollitt, M .G.
    Abstract: We analyse the productivity growth of electricity transmission and distribution networks in Great Britain and how changes in incentive mechanism have influenced the measured total factor productivity (TFP). In doing so we are also concerned to examine the effects of quality of service and environmental targets on measured productivity growth. It is increasingly important that productivity measures adjust for the increasing regulatory pressure to reduce the wider societal impacts of the electricity sector and improve quality of service. Failure to do so, may mean that productivity growth may look slower than it actually is. We employ a DEA technique which considers the underlying data without a stochastic element. Our findings show that productivity growth is consistently low for the period we examine, in the region of 1% p.a. over the 29 years from 1990/1991-2018/2019. For both electricity transmission and electricity distribution we try to monetise a wider range of quality and emissions variables in order to show the difference their inclusion makes to measured productivity growth. We show that it can make a difference both positively and negatively, though often this difference is small (e.g. 0.1% p.a.). However, the impact can be much larger (c. 1% p.a.), especially with respect to improvements in quality of service in the distribution network. In the context of generally slow productivity growth, we therefore show the importance of appropriate measurement.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, incentive regulation, electricity networks, emissions
    JEL: D24 H23 L43 L94
    Date: 2021–11–16
  2. By: Suting Hong; Robert M. Hunt; Konstantinos Serfes
    Abstract: We construct a two-period model of revolving credit with asymmetric information and adverse selection. In the second period, lenders exploit an informational advantage with respect to their own customers. Those rents stimulate competition for customers in the first period. The informational advantage the current lender enjoys relative to its competitors determines interest rates, credit supply, and switching behavior. We evaluate the consequences of limiting the repricing of existing balances as implemented by recent legislation. Such restrictions increase deadweight losses and reduce ex-ante consumer surplus. The model suggests novel approaches to identify empirically the effects of this law. We find the pattern of changes to interest rates and balance transfer activity before and after the CARD Act are consistent with the testable implications of the model.
    Keywords: Financial contracts; Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act; holdup; risk-based pricing; credit supply
    JEL: D14 D18 D86 G28 K12
    Date: 2021–11–23
  3. By: Oscar Borgogno (Bank of Italy); Michele Savini Zangrandi (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Systematic data exploitation through digital means lays at the very heart of the current platform economy. The regulatory boundaries posed by legislation to what firms and individuals can do with this intangible asset fall under the broad concept of data governance. We argue that the three major regulatory policy fields critical in shaping a country’s data governance framework are data control, national security and competition law. These legislative strands have a profound impact on the platform economy and overlap with each other in a significant manner. In exploring the complex trade-offs, this paper reaches three broad conclusions. First, multiple and diverse regulatory domains intersect the digital space, with overlapping and sometimes unpredictable consequences. Second, given the transnational nature of digital activity, international coordination and dialogue are of the utmost importance. Third, as the data governance framework has important consequences for the financial sector, sectoral regulators should be open to taking an active part in national and international discussions.
    Keywords: digital platforms, data, competition policy, national security, data access, privacy.
    JEL: F53 K21 K24 L38
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Johari, Ramesh (Stanford U); Light, Bar (Stanford U); Weintraub, Gabriel Y. (Stanford U)
    Abstract: Online platforms collect rich information about participants and then share some of this information back with them to improve market outcomes. In this paper we study the following information disclosure problem in two-sided markets: If a platform wants to maximize revenue, which sellers should the platform allow to participate, and how much of its available information about participating sellers' quality should the platform share with buyers? We study this information disclosure problem in the context of two distinct two-sided market models: one in which the platform chooses prices and the sellers choose quantities (similar to ride-sharing), and one in which the sellers choose prices (similar to e-commerce). Our main results provide conditions under which simple information structures commonly observed in practice, such as banning certain sellers from the platform while not distinguishing between participating sellers, maximize the platform's revenue. An important innovation in our analysis is to transform the platform's information disclosure problem into a constrained price discrimination problem. We leverage this transformation to obtain our structural results.
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Budzinski, Oliver; Polk, Andreas
    Abstract: Mit der 10. Novelle des Gesetzes gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen (GWB; Anfang 2021 in Kraft getreten) sollen die deutschen Wettbewerbsregeln modernisiert und an die Erfordernisse der Digitalwirtschaft angepasst werden, weswegen die Novelle auch als GWB-Digitalisierungsgesetz bezeichnet wird. Der Beitrag stellt die wesentlichen digitalisierungsbezogenen Änderungen der deutschen Wettbewerbsregeln in verständlicher Weise dar und zeigt anhand der Fallpraxis des Bundeskartellamts eine Reihe von relevanten Auswirkungen auf.
    Keywords: Wettbewerbspolitik,Digitalisierung,Marktmacht,Internetkonzerne,Wettbewerbsrecht,Digitalwirtschaft,GAFAM
    JEL: K21 L40 L86
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Simshauser, P.
    Abstract: Over the period 2016-2021 Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) experienced an investment supercycle comprising 24,000MW of renewables. One of the more intriguing aspects of the supercycle was a partial shift of investment decision-making from utility boardrooms to family kitchen tables – rooftop solar PV comprised 8,000MW of the 24,000MW total. In NEM regions such as Queensland, take-up rates have now reached ~40% of households, currently the highest take-up rate in the world. At the household level there is a distinct mismatch between peak demand and solar PV output, which tends to suggest any peak load problem will be exacerbated. When the contribution of rooftop solar PV is abstracted to the power system level these results reverse. The partial equilibrium framework of Boiteux (1949), Turvey (1964) and Berrie (1967) has historically been used to define the optimal plant mix to satisfy demand growth. In this article, their partial equilibrium framework is used to define conventional plant ‘dis-investment’ in the presence of rising rooftop solar PV and utility-scale renewables in an energy-only market setting. Queensland’s 4400MW of rooftop solar displaces 1000MW of conventional generation in equilibrium, 500MW of peaking plant and somewhat counterintuitively, 500MW of baseload coal plant – falling ‘minimum system demand’ being a driving factor. The NEM’s energyonly market and its $15,000/MWh price cap proves tractable through to a 50% renewable market share, but relies critically on frictionless coal plant divestment and bounded negative price offers.
    Keywords: rooftop solar PV, renewables, power generation, energy-only markets, peak load problem
    JEL: D25 D80 G32 L51 Q41
    Date: 2021–11–15
  7. By: He, Gang; Lin, Jiang; Sifuentes, Froylan; Liu, Xu; Abhyankar, Nikit; Phadke, Amol
    Abstract: The costs for solar photovoltaics, wind, and battery storage have dropped markedly since 2010, however, many recent studies and reports around the world have not adequately captured such dramatic decrease. Those costs are projected to decline further in the near future, bringing new prospects for the widespread penetration of renewables and extensive power-sector decarbonization that previous policy discussions did not fully consider. Here we show if cost trends for renewables continue, 62% of China's electricity could come from non-fossil sources by 2030 at a cost that is 11% lower than achieved through a business-as-usual approach. Further, China's power sector could cut half of its 2015 carbon emissions at a cost about 6% lower compared to business-as-usual conditions.
    Date: 2020–05–19
  8. By: Tal, Gil; Davis, Adam
    Abstract: In the US, the market share of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)—including battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—has been rapidly increasing as a variety of new PEVs have been introduced. Knowing where PEV users are located is important to ensure that electric vehicle charging infrastructure is installed in areas where it is needed. Information on PEV location can also inform electricity supply planning to prepare for a future with higher PEV adoption. Previous studies have looked at the spatial distribution of new PEVs but not of used PEVs. Yet these spatial distributions will likely differ because the buyers of used PEVs have different characteristics than new PEV buyers. Therefore, planning charging infrastructure and electricity supply based solely on new PEV data may not serve both new and used PEV buyers. Policies developed to support drivers of used PEVs may ultimately attract a broader group of people into the PEV market, as used vehicles are less expensive than new ones. Researchers at the University of California, Davis used aggregated data at the zip code level to understand where buyers of second-hand PEVs are located, and to explore differences in the location and characteristics of regions with more original owners vs. second owners of PEVs. This policy brief summarizes the findings from that research and provides policy implications. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Automobile ownership, Consumers, Electric vehicles, Market share, Spatial analysis, Used cars
    Date: 2021–11–01
  9. By: Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo; Salakka, Kaisa
    Abstract: Abstract In a recent trend in digitalization, many platform incumbents have steered their focus towards creating collectively shared persistent virtual frameworks known as ‘metaverses’. Due to the emergence of digital platforms in the game industry over the last decade, the industry is now challenging the digital platform incumbents in metaverse development. Will the development unlock new data-driven markets, how will the landscape of digital platforms be reconfigured, and what are the strategic and policy implications for Finland and the European Union?
    Keywords: Game Engine, Virtual Reality, Metaverse, Platform, Platform Business Group (PBG) Strategy, System of Systems, Digitalization
    JEL: L8 L82 O3 O33
    Date: 2021–11–18
  10. By: Martin Gaynor; Adam Sacarny; Raffaella Sadun; Chad Syverson; Shruthi Venkatesh
    Abstract: There is an ongoing merger wave in the US hospital industry, but it remains an open question how hospital mergers change, or fail to change, hospital behavior, performance, and outcomes. In this research, we open the “black box” of practices within hospitals in the context of a mega-merger between two large for-profit chains. Benchmarking the effects of the merger against the acquirer’s stated aims, we show that they achieved some of their goals: they harmonized their electronic medical records and sent managers to target hospitals; after the acquisition, managerial processes were similar across hospitals in the merged chain. However, these interventions failed to drive detectable gains in profitability or patient outcomes. Our findings demonstrate the importance of hospital organizations and internal processes for merger research and policy in health care and the economy more generally.
    JEL: D22 I11 M12
    Date: 2021–11
  11. By: Radoslaw Kotkowski (Narodowy Bank Polski); Michal Polasik (Nicolaus Copernicus University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed an important aspect of everyday life, viz. how people make payments. The empirical study is based on a survey of over 5,000 respondents from 22 European countries. It shows that consumers who had been making cashless payments prior to the outbreak of the pandemic have been even more likely to do so since it broke out. On the other hand, the consumers who had mostly been paying in cash have often continued to do so. Results indicate that the usage of banking and payment innovations proved to be the catalyst leading to the growth of cashless payment usage. The divide between those who pay in cash and those who do not, therefore, seems to have widened during the pandemic. We found that the probability of more frequent cashless payments as a result of the pandemic differs considerably between countries and therefore depends on local conditions. The results indicate that the pandemic has exacerbated major financial inclusion issues and that this needs to be addressed by policymakers, but also that further analysis of factors differentiating usage of cash and the cashless instrument is needed.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Cash; Cashless payments; Change in payment behaviour
    JEL: E41 E42 I12 I18
    Date: 2021

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