The political economy of public utilities: A study of the power sector
AbstractIn this paper, we attempt at an analysis of the political economy of the Indian power sector with special reference to Kerala in the light of a generic model of the political economy of public utilities we develop in the first part of the paper. The model seeks to explain the political economy of the rent seeking drives in a non-Smithian imperfect regime of self-interest maximisation, with a regulatory structure of the public utility described in a framework of the principal-agent relationship. In contrast to the usual neo-classical monolithic representation of principal and agent, we characterise each entity in a Marxian-Kaleckian vein, as a composite set of conflicting sectional interests. This helps us develop a comprehensive perspective of the politico-economic implications of the relationship among the public, government and utility. Based on this generic model, we seek to analyse, in the second part of the paper, the political economy of the power sector in India, with emphasis on Kerala. We also attempt, wherever possible, to estimate the costs of corruption involved in the administration of the power sector.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 316.
Length: 80 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2001
Date of revision:
India; political economy; rent seeking; principal-agent; public utility; power sector;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Institutional; Evolutionary
- H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
- H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
- N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
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