Bolognesi, T. “In the Shadow of Sunshine Regulation: considering disclosure biases”

The paper “In the Shadow of Sunshine Regulation: Considering Disclosure Biases” (Bolognesi, T.) will be presented at the 6th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (16 June 2017). 


Information asymmetries and principal-agent relations are crucial issues in network industries regulation. Therefore, besides incentive-based regulations, regulators developed tools dedicated to reveal hidden information and make regulation “smart”. In their very essence, these tools consist in benchmarking services and differ according to the use of benchmarking outputs. In this contribution, we consider performance measurement and sunshine regulation because of a discrepancy between literature and practices. Most of the empirical assessments conclude impacts of sunshine regulation on service performance are not signi cant while in policies the use of benchmarking increase. Instead of focussing on impacts, we look at the process of disclosure in sunshine regulation arguing that this process is subject to biases avoiding robust analysis of impacts. We assume there are three types of behaviour that cause these biases: opportunism, transaction costs minimisation and pro-social motivations. Our dataset combines 795 observations, and the results con firm impacts of opportunism and pro-social motivations while we find no persuasive evidence of the impacts of the complexity of indicators calculation.


Thomas Bolognesi is a researcher at the University of Geneva and member of the Unesco Chair in Hydropolitics. His research interests include political economics, organisational economics and institutional economics. He focuses on the regulation of urban water systems as well as on the governance of environmental resources. He is co-editor of the book series Palgrave Studies in Water Governance.

Personal webpage:



Presentation by Thomas Bolognesi


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