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Reflections on Incentive Regulation


  • Littlechild Stephen

    () (University of Cambridge)


This paper reviews in turn the papers in this Symposium on incentive regulation. It adduces the UK experience with incentive regulation, particularly in the electricity sector, to evaluate, amongst other things, the reasons for development and adoption of this approach, the determinants of setting X, and the case for more advanced metering. It suggests, among other things, that price caps can be designed to facilitate the transition to retail competition, that a rise in complaints might be explicable in part by factors other than quality of service, that TELRIC pricing has yet to acknowledge fully the implications of time and lack of knowledge, and that a failure to recognise the impact of competition on quality and variety of service could underestimate the benefits of competition in supply. It recognises similarities and some differences between the UK experience and the accounts of regulators that have introduced incentive regulation in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Littlechild Stephen, 2003. "Reflections on Incentive Regulation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 1-27, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rneart:v:2:y:2003:i:4:n:2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David E. M. Sappington & Dennis L. Weisman, 2016. "The disparate adoption of price cap regulation in the U.S. telecommunications and electricity sectors," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 250-264, April.
    2. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2005. "The economics of interchange fees and their regulation : an overview," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 73-120.
    3. Hahn, Robert & Evans, Lewis, 2010. "Regulating Dynamic Markets: Progress in Theory and Practice," Working Paper Series 4052, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    4. Lantz, Björn, 2008. "Hybrid revenue caps and incentive regulation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 688-695, May.
    5. David Sappington & Dennis Weisman, 2010. "Price cap regulation: what have we learned from 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 227-257, December.
    6. David Sappington & Dennis Weisman, 2012. "Regulating regulators in transitionally competitive markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 19-40, February.
    7. Starkie, David, 2005. "Making airport regulation less imperfect," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-8.
    8. Carlos Barros & Ade Ibiwoye, 2012. "Performance, heterogeneity and managerial efficiency of African airports: the Nigerian Case," CEsA Working Papers 106, CEsA - Center for African, Asian and Latin American Studies.
    9. Barros, Carlos Pestana & Managi, Shunsuke, 2009. "Regulation, pollution and heterogeneity in Japanese steam power generation companies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3109-3114, August.
    10. Evans, Lewis T. & Guthrie, Graeme A., 2005. "Risk, price regulation, and irreversible investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 109-128, February.
    11. Anna Bottasso & Maurizio Conti, 2010. "An Assessment on the Cost Structure of the UK Airport Industry: Ownership Outcomes and Long Run Cost Economies," Working papers 13, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.

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