October 4, 2011

Reducing Rents from Energy Technology Adoption Programs by Exploiting Observable Information

In this CPB Discussion Paper, we study how regulators may improve upon the efficiency of their energy technology adoption programs by exploiting readily observable information to limit rent extraction by firms.
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Using panel data on 862 investment decisions in the Netherlands, we find that rent extraction is closely linked not only to technology characteristics, but also to the firm's capital budgetting technique. In particular, we find that rms are more likely to extract rent when either the technology's pay-back period or its required investment is lower, but less likely if they do not use a formal capital budgeting technique. Standard firm characteristics, such as size and sector, correlate with firms' use of capital budgeting techniques, thereby partly resolving the regulator's asymmetric information problem.

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