Pablo T. Spiller

Pablo T. Spiller
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Haas School of Business

PhD in Economics

About

171
Publications
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9,109
Citations

Publications

Publications (171)
Article
We present a public procurement model in which contractual flexibility and political tolerance for contractual deviations determine renegotiations. In the model, contractual flexibility allows for adaptation without formal renegotiation, while political tolerance for deviations decreases with political competition. We then compare renegotiation rat...
Article
Full-text available
Do public agents undertake socially inefficient activities to protect themselves? In politically contestable markets, part of the lack of flexibility in the design and implementation of the public procurement process reflects public agents' risk adaptations to limit the political hazards from opportunistic third parties—political opponents, competi...
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We analyze the implications of plausible third-party challenges to the legitimacy of a transaction for contract design. To the extent that such challenges impose reputation and transaction costs, the scrutinized agent has an incentive to choose contractual procedures that make challenges less likely to succeed at court, thereby discouraging the fil...
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We apply algorithmic data reading and textual analysis to compare the features of contracts in regulated industries subject to public scrutiny (which we call “public contracts”) with contracts between nongovernmental entities. We show that public contracts are lengthier and have more rule-based rigid clauses; in addition, their renegotiation is for...
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Ronald H. Coase was one of the most innovative and provocative economists of the twentieth century. Besides his best known papers on ‘The Nature of the Firm’ and ‘The Problem of Social Cost’, he had a major role in the development of the field of law and economics, and made numerous influential contributions to topics including public utilities, re...
Article
We apply algorithmic data reading and textual analysis to compare the features of contracts in regulated industries subject to public scrutiny (which we call "public contracts") with relational private contracts. We show that public contracts are lengthier and have more rule-based rigid clauses; in addition, their renegotiation is formalized in ame...
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We examine the effect of consumer advocate participation in administrative procedures on regulatory policy. We use a unique panel database of rate reviews conducted for US electric utilities from 1980 to 2007 to assess how state consumer advocates affect Public Utility Commission decisions on utilities’ allowed financial returns and rate structures...
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Full-text available
We apply algorithmic data reading and textual analysis to compare the features of contracts in regulated industries subject to public scrutiny (which we call "public contracts") with relational private contracts. We show that public contracts are lengthier and have more rule-based rigid clauses; in addition, their renegotiation is formalized in ame...
Article
The lack of flexibility in public procurement design and implementation reflects public agents' political risk adaptation to limit hazards from opportunistic third parties --- political opponents, competitors, interest groups --- while externalizing the associated adaptation costs to the public at large. Reduced flexibility limits the likelihood of...
Article
This paper examines the effect of interest group representation in administrative institutions on regulatory policy. We use a unique panel database of rate reviews conducted for U.S. electric utilities during the 1980s to assess how consumer advocates and elected agency commissioners affect Public Utility Commission decisions on utilities' allowed...
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The influence of Supreme Court over policy making is undisputed. To provide for its independence, Constitutions typically isolate the Court from direct public approval and (to a varying extent) from the influence of elected politicians. However, this doesn’t imply that the Court is unaffected by changes in the political environment; Congress can
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Public contracts seem to be “expensive” and “inefficient” compared to pure private contracts. Higher prices and inefficiencies in the implementation of public contracts result from their specificity and rigidity, which is how public agents limit hazards from third-party opportunism. We present a comprehensible and testable theory of third-party opp...
Chapter
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Electricity markets are being radically transformed throughout the world. Starting with the pathbreaking restructuring of Chile’s electricity sector in 1982, several countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, and the UK, have undertaken reforms introducing commercial incentives into the generation, tran...
Article
This paper discusses the fundamental underpinnings and some implications of transaction cost regulation (TCR), a framework to analyze the interaction between governments and investors fundamentally, but not exclusively, in utility industries. TCR sees regulation as the governance structure of these interactions, and thus, as in standard transaction...
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In spite of its crucial role in damage compensation, there is not a well-developed set of generally accepted principles of pre-judgment interest (“PJI”) by arbitration tribunals. A typical mistake in international arbitration awards is the granting of PJI that is significantly lower than the rate used to discount cash flows. This often results in w...
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This essay explores the immense impact of Oliver Williamson's writings and thoughts on contracting and organizations to research on the economics of regulation. Based on Williamson's transaction cost economics approach, this essay discusses the fundamental hazards inherent in government/utility- investors' interactions and explores how these hazard...
Book
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¿Qué determina la capacidad de los países para diseñar, aprobar e implementar políticas públicas efectivas? Para abordar esta pregunta, este libro analiza el proceso de formulación de políticas en ocho países latinoamericanos en base a una metodología común con fundamentos en la teoría de juegos y el análisis institucional. Este análisis sistemátic...
Article
This essay explores the immense impact of Oliver Williamson's writings and thoughts on contracting and organizations to research on the economics of regulation. Based on Williamson's transaction cost economics approach, this essay discusses the fundamental hazards inherent in government/utility-investors' interactions and explores how these hazards...
Article
The linkLine price squeeze case pending in the Supreme Court for the Fall 2008 Term is one of the most significant antitrust cases on monopolization law that the Court has taken in years. Amici are professors and scholars in law and economics who have taught, or have conducted research on, antitrust law and the economics of industrial organization....
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The fundamental feature of private contracting is its relational nature. When faced with unforeseen or unexpected circumstances, private parties, as long as the relation remains worthwhile, adjust their required performance without the need for costly renegotiation or formal recontracting. Public contracting, on the other hand, seems to be characte...
Book
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What determines the capacity of countries to design, approve, and implement effective public policies? To address this question, this book builds on the results of case studies of political institutions, policymaking processes, and policy outcomes in eight Latin American countries, structured around a common methodology with foundations in game the...
Article
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Whereas damages in treaty arbitration disputes are usually valued at the date when the measures trigger a violation, Chorzów’s compensation standard provides the alternative to value as of the date of the award. The latter is critical when investors continue to operate the business, such as in indirect expropriation as well as unjust and inequitabl...
Article
The linkLine price squeeze case from the Ninth Circuit is the most important antitrust case that the Supreme Court could take during the Fall 2007 Term. Amici are professors and scholars in law and economics who have taught, or have conducted research on, antitrust law and the economics of industrial organization. They include William J. Baumol, Ro...
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Internal or contractual production of highly creative products requires managers to assess both unobservable effort and uncertain output, leading to lack of cost control. Similarly, in procuring creative products in the marketplace, managers face the unavoidable winner's curse risk. Since this risk is, to a large extent, independent of the creative...
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We develop a basic framework to understand the organization of highly creative activities. Management faces a fundamental tradeoff in organizing such activities. On the one hand, since creativity cannot be achieved by command and control or by monetary incentives, internal/contractual production of creative products is plagued by hazards arising fr...
Article
The articles appearing in this symposium are the result of a conference on Empirical Studies of Courts and Judges convened by Daniel Berkowitz and Mark Ramseyer at Harvard Law School on November 10th, 2006. The purpose of the conference was to bring together scholars whose research interest resides in both judicial behavior and comparative research...
Article
This report builds and expands upon the analyses of Report Card No. 6 which considered relative income poverty affecting children and policies to mitigate it. Report Card 7 provides a pioneering, comprehensive picture of child well being through the consideration of six dimensions: material well-being, health and safety, education, family and peer...
Article
The authors have two purposes in this book, and they succeed admirably at both. They develop a general model of public policy making focused on the difficulties of securing intertemporal exchanges among politicians. They combine the tools of game theory with Williamson's transaction cost theory, North's institutional arguments, and contract theory...
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This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection a...
Article
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Bargaining between different groups, which differ in objectives, preferences and interests, is at the core of political decision-making. Yet, it is logical to presume that negotiations involving more parties will lead to inertia and a slow pace in the legislative process. According to this hypothesis, political systems involving many veto-players s...
Article
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The "parallel behavior is enough" standard cannot assist the courts in distinguishing horizontal agreements to restrain trade from normal competition. It would very likely impose significant costs on the economy by distorting competitive incentives and encouraging meritless litigation designed mainly to induce financial settlements.
Article
In this statement, a group of economists assembled by the AEI-Brookings Joint Center makes the following two recommendations to improve the competitive provision of broadband services. First, Congress should eliminate local franchising regulations, which serve as a barrier to new entry. Second, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission sho...
Article
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This paper links the theory of interest groups influence over the legislature with that of congressional control over the judiciary. The resulting framework reconciles the theoretical literature of lobbying with the negative available evidence on the impact of lobbying over legislative outcomes, and sheds light to the determinants of lobbying in se...
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Investment and quality decisions in common-pool networks are typically governed by rules set by a centralized agency (either a monopoly or a regulator). In network systems where competition has flourished, decentralized solutions work better than centralized ones. Rent seeking and politicization is avoided at lower costs. Problems of free riding an...
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During the 1990s, several emerging countries signed BITs (Bilateral Investment Treaties) to encourage foreign investment in public services. After more than a decade, we observe international arbitration disputes between investors and local Governments, resulting from Governmental actions leading to reductions of investors’ expected returns, or ind...
Chapter
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Regulation is part of the complex web of a nation’s public policy. To understand regulatory design, then, it is imperative to understand the general determinants of public policy. The purpose of this essay is to highlight the usefulness of a transactional approach to public policy determination in understanding the origins, nature and the evolution...
Chapter
In the 1990s, Argentina underwent a broad and profound process of market-oriented reform. With its ambitious program of macroeconomic stabilization, liberalization, privatization, and deregulation, Argentina became the poster child of the Washington establishment. After decades of inwardlooking policies, stagnation, and fiscal crises that produced...
Article
Full-text available
Bargaining between different groups, which differ in objectives, preferences and interests, is at the core of political decision-making. Yet, it is logical to presume that negotiations involving more parties will lead to inertia and a slow pace in the legislative process. According to this hypothesis, political systems involving many veto-players s...
Article
Full-text available
This paper links the theory of interest groups influence over the legislature with that of congressional control over the judiciary. We develop a model in which (i) Court’s rulings can be reversed by Congress, and (ii) an Interest Group is privately informed about the realization of a variable affecting legislators’ preferences. Lobbying by the Int...
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Variables into Political Variables and Institutions: Links (5), (6) and (7) in Figure 3 The elements listed in the last paragraph of the previous section provide some guidance with which to enter into the observation of actual polities. A couple of comments are in order at this point. First, the listing we provide is meant to be suggestive, and not...
Article
This paper addresses the contradictory results obtained by Segal (1997) and Spiller and Gely (1992) concerning the impact of institutional constraints on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision making. By adapting the Spiller and Gely maximum likelihood model to the Segal dataset, we find support for the hypothesis that the Court adjusts its decisions to...
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Public policies are the outcomes of complex intertemporal exchanges among politicians. The political institutions of a country constitute the framework within which these transactions are accomplished. We develop a transactions theory to understand the ways in which political institutions affect the transactions that political actors are able to un...
Article
State Supreme Courts have grown in importance during the last thirty years in the formation of public policy. Their judgements determine many aspects of constitutional law, tort reform, judicial selection, and campaign finance reform, among others. A vast body of literature has been developed that analyzes State Supreme Court decision making, which...
Article
Full-text available
State Supreme Courts have grown in importance during the last thirty years in the formation of public policy. Their judgements determine many aspects of constitutional law, tort reform, judicial selection, and campaign finance reform, among others. A vast body of literature has been developed that analyzes State Supreme Court decision making, which...
Article
The authors, an ad-hocgroup of professionals with experience in regulatory and energy economics, share a common concern with the continuing turmoil facing the electricity industry ("the industry") in California. Most ofthe authorsendorsed the first California Electricity Manifesto issued on January 25, 2001. Almost two years have passed since that...
Article
Argentina's constitution and electoral rules promote a fragmented polity. It is in those environments that inde- pendent judiciaries develop. Instead, most analysts do not consider the Argentina judiciary as independent. In this article we attempt to explain this contradiction by showing that this perception is inappropriate. We de- velop a test of...
Article
Full-text available
Argentina's constitution and electoral rules promote a fragmented polity. It is in those environments that independent judiciaries develop. Instead, most analysts ac not consider the Argentina judiciary as independent. In this article we attempt to explain this contradiction by showing that this perception is inappropriate. We develop a test of the...
Article
The Argentine Congress plays a limited role in the production of public policy and is a relatively ineffective check on the Argentine Executive Branch. We argue this is the combined result of incentives created by several features of Argentine political institutions. In this article we emphasize the role of the country's electoral rules, which plac...
Article
Full-text available
Bargaining between different groups, which differ in objectives, preferences and interests, is at the core of political decision-making. Yet, it is logical to presume that negotiations involving more parties will lead to inertia and a slow pace in the legislative process. According to this hypothesis, political systems involving many veto-players s...
Article
Argentina's constitution and electoral rules promote a fragmented polity. It is in those environments that independent judiciaries develop. Instead, in Argentina, the judiciary is not considered independent, and shows poor public perception. In this paper we attempt to explain this contradiction by showing that this perception is based on the unusu...
Article
Full-text available
The Argentine Congress plays a limited role in the production of public policy and is a relatively ineffective check on the Argentine Executive Branch. We argue this is the combined result of incentives created by several features of Argentine political institutions. In this article we emphasize the role of the country’s electoral rules, which plac...
Article
Full-text available
What effect does provincial-level politics have on the ability of Argentine legislators to survive in office? We develop a game-theoretic model of incumbent renomination and derive two related hypotheses on the variation in the time a national deputy will survive in office. We argue that the brevity of Argentine congressional careers can be explain...
Article
Este trabajo tiene por propósito ayudar a dilucidar los factores explicativos de la pobre performance argentina tanto en lo económico como en su funcionamiento social más general. Se argumenta que la clave está en los aspectos institucionales. En particular, la interacción entre determinadas características institucionales básicas con la inestabili...
Article
Nodal prices, congestion revenues, transmission capacity rights, and compensation for wire ownership are key concepts used to formulate claims about proposals to organize competitive and open transmission access. Underlying those claims are implicit assertions (folk theorems) concerning the regulation of transmission access, the determination of po...
Article
In this article we present one of the first small-group voting models that allows sophisticated and sincere voters to interact. We investigate sophistication in a particular sequential setting, where the decision of the group may be revised by another voting group. Although the discussion is phrased in terms of judges, courts and congress, the mode...
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I study a budget-constrained, private-valuation, sealed-bid sequential auction with two incompletely-informed, risk-neutral bidders in which the valuations and income may be non-monotonic functions of a bidder's type. Multiple equilibrium symmetric bidding functions may exist that differ in allocation, efficiency and revenue. The sequence of sale a...
Article
Full-text available
Nodal prices, congestion revenues, transmission capacity rights, and compensation for wire ownership are key concepts used to formulate claims about proposals to organize competitive and open transmission access. Underlying those claims are implicit assertions (folk theorems) concerning the regulation of transmission access, the determination of po...
Article
Full-text available
The likelihood that a government will meet its promises varies with the structure of a nation's political institutions. Where multiple independent actors wield veto power over potential policy changes, macroeconomic, tax, and regulatory stability will be enhanced—thus reducing the variance on an investment project's expected return. This relationsh...
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A number of scholars have identified the important role administrative procedures have in 'structuring' the interest group environment of government agencies: determining who can participate and in what manner. Using a formal model, we analyze the incentives and outcomes that different procedural--and therefore interest group--environments generate...
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This article presents models of strategic behavior by agencies and courts where the ability to manipulate the instruments of decision making, rather than merely selecting policy choices, allows actors to insulate their policy choices from higher level review. The theory is based on the notion that decision instruments (for example, rulemaking and a...
Book
Since the late 1980s developing countries have been massively privatizing or concessioning the provision of public services (utilities) for two reasons. The first reason is fiscal, since the urgent need for massive investment in those sectors to bring them up to modern standards of service and coverage cannot be fulfilled by the public sector. Macr...
Article
In this article, we analyze the extent of synergies among wireless licenses using information from the first two broadband Personal Communication Service (PCS) spectrum auctions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We use a reduced-form regression of the winning bid for each license on a set of regressors capturing the demographics of th...
Article
This paper tries to solve the following puzzle. Given that UK governments have, in principle, so much administrative discretion, how were the Conservative governments of the 1980s able to privatize the telecommunications, electricity, water, gas, and airport sectors so prone for administrative expropriation? The answer resides in the subtle use of...
Article
In this paper, the authors develop a formal model of strategic interaction between federal regulatory agencies, appellate courts and the Supreme Court. The focus of the paper is on the ability of actors on the lower end of the review hierarchy (agencies and appellate court panels) to impose decision making costs on higher levels of review (appellat...
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Full-text available
hwest has been the only consistently profitable carrier since deregulation. See, US 4 Department of Transportation, Air Carriers Financial Statistics Quarterly, various issues. 1. Introduction. There is by now a large empirical literature on the post-deregulation airline industry. This literature has focused on a number of issues regarding the prov...
Article
The ability of Congress to structure the institutional costs of agency and judicial decision making gives it considerable control over regulatory policy. We analyze the role of decision costs through models of agency-court interaction and consider the ability of Congress to manipulate such costs for its own policy purposes We explore the implicatio...
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Full-text available
Is private industry investing in backbone digital technology in a manner consistent with social policy? To address this question we assemble highly disaggregate data and compute indices for the geographic distribution of advanced backbone information technology in computing and telecommunications, focusing on recent changes in the indices. Our evid...
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Interconnection, equal access, unbundling, and industry structure are four key determinants of facilities-based competition in telecommunications. Using these building blocks, this paper analyzes the differences in telecommunications regulatory regimes in Australia, Chile, Guatemala, and New Zealand, assessing the effect on competition and consumer...
Article
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The organization and governance of the transactions that comprise a bundling arrangement depend on the distribution of capabilities among firms and the amount of time during which the window of opportunity for earning rents is expected to remain open. Firms engaged in inter-firm collaboration must undertake 'support' transactions related to billing...
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While much economic policy presumes that more information infrastructure yields higher economic returns, little empirical work measures the magnitudes of these returns. We examine investment by local exchange telephone companies in fiber optic cable, ISDN lines and signal seven software, infrastructure which plays an essential role in bringing digi...
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This paper estimates a model of airline competition that captures the two major features of the industry: product differentiation and economies of density. The results not only provide support to some of the traditional common wisdom in the industry, but are also useful for understanding major puzzles concerning the evolution of the industry. The e...