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Regulatory Agencies, the State and Markets: A Franco-British Comparison

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  • Mark Thatcher
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    Abstract

    The article examines whether and how independent regulatory agencies (IRAs) have altered the strategies, relationships and power of French policy makers in markets and whether they led to convergence with Britain in state-market relations. It relates these questions to broader debates about the extent to which previous policy-making systems have been transformed, whether Europe has one regulatory state or several, whether France has become a form of 'liberal market economy' and the power of the state after reform of markets. It argues that although, as in Britain, France has established IRAs with responsibilities for ensuring competition in key economic domains, French state strategies remained very different from British ones and markets operate very differently in the two countries. Moreover, the break with the past has been limited: public policy makers continue to have significant capacities to mould markets and delegation to IRAs has often reinforced the power of existing elites and aided the adaptation of traditional French industrial strategies to new conditions. Thus even if France has adopted the formal institutions of competitive markets, it has not converged with a liberal market economy such as Britain in terms of strategies and behaviour. State forms and instruments may have altered, but an activist French industrial policy is alive and well.

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    File URL: http://cadmus.eui.eu/dspace/bitstream/1814/6836/1/RSCAS_2007_17.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European University Institute in its series RSCAS Working Papers with number 2007/17.

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    Date of creation: 21 May 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2007/17

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    Keywords: regulation; independent regulatory agencies; electricity; 3G mobiles;

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    1. Lautier, Delphine, 2003. "Les performances des entreprises électriques européennes," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1240, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C74-C96, March.
    3. Schmidt, Vivien A., 2002. "The Futures of European Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253685, Octomber.
    4. Emiliano Grossman, 2006. "Europeanization as an Interactive Process: German Public Banks Meet EU State Aid Policy," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 325-348, 06.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jacques Pelkmans & Lionel Kapff, 2010. "Interconnector Investment for a Well-functioning Internal Market. What EU regime of regulatory incentives?," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 18, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    2. Dastan, Seyit Ali, 2011. "Analysing success of regulatory policy transfers: Evidence from Turkish energy markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 8116-8124.
    3. Bohne, Eberhard, 2011. "Conflicts between national regulatory cultures and EU energy regulations," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 255-269.

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