Document de travail

Regulating investments when both costs and need are private

Elena Panova et Daniel F. Garrett


Large-scale infrastructure investments are often carried out in set- tings where their eventual usefulness or importance is diffi cult to pre- dict. This paper studies optimal incentives for investment when the agent undertaking the investment has superior information on two dimensions: the cost of investment and the likelihood it is useful or beneficial to the principal. Usefulness eventually becomes public, but punishments are limited as the regulator aims at ensuring the agent earns non-negative profits in each period. We characterize the opti- mal incentive scheme and show it involves either: (i) investments by the agent even though he knows they are useless and rents to only cost-effi cient types, or (ii) rents to all types. The possibility that rent is left to all types contrasts with the usual prediction in static (and also dynamic) mechanism design and arises though the agent's preferences are stable over time.


Monopoly regulation; Real options; Multidimensionl asymmetric information;

Codes JEL

  • D81: Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
  • D82: Asymmetric and Private Information • Mechanism Design
  • L51: Economics of Regulation


Elena Panova et Daniel F. Garrett, « Regulating investments when both costs and need are private », TSE Working Paper, n° 23-1429, avril 2023.

Voir aussi

Publié dans

TSE Working Paper, n° 23-1429, avril 2023