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Consumer Choice and Competition Policy: a Study of UK Energy Markets

  • Monica Giulietti
  • Catherine Waddams Price
  • Michael Waterson

Consumer choice is increasingly recognised as a crucial factor in competition policy. To illustrate the implications of such choice we present an investment model of the switching choice in the UK residential natural gas market and examine responses to a specially commissioned survey of nearly seven hundred consumers, identifying search and switching costs. Through an assessment of the savings which consumers say they require to switch supplier, together with an evaluation of consumer switching behaviour, we deduce that the incumbent retained considerable market power, suggesting that some continued regulation may be necessary. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 506 (October)
Pages: 949-968

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:506:p:949-968
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