Does Liberalisation cause more Electricity Blackouts? Evidence from a Global Study of Newspaper Reports
AbstractThere is a public perception that electricity liberalisation is the major cause of recent electricity blackouts. This is reflected in the newspaper reporting of blackouts. By contrast, it was not listed as a cause in any official investigation reports. In this paper, we examine the common causes of a number of large blackouts worldwide by applying the qualitative content analysis technique to different investigation reports. We generate a regional blackout dataset, spanning European, Latin American and Asian regions, by using news articles derived from the Factiva database. We use the random effects model and sample means techniques in a detailed examination of the effect of liberalisation and regional factors on the number of ‘small’ electricity blackouts between 1998 and 2007. The results indicate that, contrary to what we might expect, liberalisation does not have a significant statistical effect on the frequency of small blackouts. The perception that there is an increase in the number of blackouts after liberalisation seems to be shaped by the media’s reporting of individual ‘large’ incidents rather than the number of incidents reported.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0911.
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm
power outage; electricity blackouts; liberalisation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-03-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2009-03-14 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-ENE-2009-03-14 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-SEA-2009-03-14 (South East Asia)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pollitt, Michael, 2008.
"Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries,"
Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
- Pollitt, M.G., 2004. "‘Electricity Reform in Argentina: Lessons for Developing Countries’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0449, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Michael Pollitt, 2004.
"Electricity Reform in Chile Lessons for Developing Countries,"
0416, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
- M. Pollitt, 2004. "Electricity reform in Chile. Lessons for developing countries," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 5(3), pages 221-263, September.
- Pollitt, M.G., 2004. "Electricity Reform in Chile: Lessons for Developing Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0448, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Newbery, David M., 1997.
"Privatisation and liberalisation of network utilities,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 357-383, April.
- Newbery, D., 1996. "Privatisation and Liberalisation of Network Utilities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9620, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Newbery, David M., 2002. "Problems of liberalising the electricity industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 919-927, May.
- Nagayama, Hiroaki, 2007. "Effects of regulatory reforms in the electricity supply industry on electricity prices in developing countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3440-3462, June.
- Jamasb, T. & Mota, R. & Newbery, D. & Pollitt, M., 2004.
"‘Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries: A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Determinants and Performance’,"
Cambridge Working Papers in Economics
0439, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Jamasb, Tooraj & Mota, Raffaella & Newbery, David & Pollitt, Michael, 2005. "Electricity sector reform in developing countries : a survey of empirical evidence on determinants and performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3549, The World Bank.
- Arango, Santiago & Dyner, Isaac & Larsen, Erik R., 2006. "Lessons from deregulation: Understanding electricity markets in South America," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 196-207, September.
- Mennel, Tim & Viecens, Maria Fernanda, 2007. "Latin versus European Power: A Tale of Two Market Reforms," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2003.
"Regulatory governance and chile's 1998-1999 electricity shortage,"
Journal of Economic Policy Reform,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 105-125.
- Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2000. "Regulatory Governance and Chile's 1998-1999 Electricity Shortage," Documentos de Trabajo 84, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- Newbery, D., 2002. "Issues and Options for Restructuring Electricity Supply Industries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0210, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Paul L. Joskow, 2001.
"California's Electricity Crisis,"
Oxford Review of Economic Policy,
Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 365-388.
- Paul L. Joskow, 2003.
"Electricity Sector Restructuring And Competition - Lessons Learned,"
0314, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
- Paul Joskow, 2003. "Electricity Sector Restructuring and Competition: Lessons Learned," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(121), pages 548-558.
- Xu, Shaofeng & Chen, Wenying, 2006. "The reform of electricity power sector in the PR of China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(16), pages 2455-2465, November.
- Williams, J.H. & Ghanadan, R., 2006. "Electricity reform in developing and transition countries: A reappraisal," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 815-844.
- A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
- Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2004. "Electricity Market Reform in the European Union: Review of progress towards liberalisation and integration," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0471, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Frank A. Wolak, 2003. "Designing Competitive Wholesale Electricity Markets for Latin American Countries," Research Department Publications 1003, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Jamasb, T., 2002. "Reform and Regulation of the Electricity Sectors in Developing Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0226, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- John Cubbin & Jon Stern, 2006. "The Impact of Regulatory Governance and Privatization on Electricity Industry Generation Capacity in Developing Economies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 115-141.
- Anna Pechan, 2014. "Which Incentives Does Regulation Give to Adapt Network Infrastructure to Climate Change? - A German Case Study," Working Papers V-365-14, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.
- Daisy Shen & Qing Yang, . "Electricity Market Regulatory Reform and Competition – Case Study of the New Zealand Electricity Market," Chapters, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Howard Cobb).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.