The article by Per J. Agrell and Axel Gautier: “A theory of soft capture” has been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.
The publication is available here.
In this paper, we propose an alternative model for capture that is based not on reciprocity but on congruence of interests between the firm and the regulator. A regulator is charged by a political principal to provide an imperfect signal for the type of a regulated firm. Only the firm can observe its type, and the production of a signal is costly. The firm can provide a costless alternative signal of lower accuracy to the regulator. In a self-enforcing equilibrium, the regulator transmits the firm-produced signal and saves information-gathering costs, and the firm enjoys higher information rents.