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The Smaller the Market, the Better the Rent Capturing: Electrification in North Portugal during the Interwar Period

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  • Rodríguez, Isabel Bartolomé

Abstract

This article analyses the origin of the persistently high level of electricity prices that hampered the expansion of electricity consumption during the interwar period in Porto. Initially, the rent-seeking behaviour of both the supply firm and the City Hall at the local level affected the expansion of the local electricity market. During the 1930s, this collusion at municipal level coincided with unpredictable energy policies at state level. This circumstance impeded the indispensable increase of scale and the building of a regional market of electricity in north Portugal. The literature on regulation and institutional analysis has proved very useful. Finally, though equally important, primary sources from company archives and institutional bodies were also employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodríguez, Isabel Bartolomé, 2012. "The Smaller the Market, the Better the Rent Capturing: Electrification in North Portugal during the Interwar Period," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(02), pages 287-320, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:reveco:v:30:y:2012:i:02:p:287-320_00
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