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Competition and Regulation in the UK Gas Industry


  • Waddams Price, Catherine


The decade since privatization has seen gas change from an integrated monopoly with no competition and without the structure necessary to encourage it, to an industry moving rapidly towards full competition. British Gas was privatized as an integrated monopoly; it had no regulation in the bulk market, and light regulation in the tariff market. Within 10 years it has lost more than half its bulk market, has voluntarily 'demerged' into a transportation and supply arm, and is leading the way in liberalization of the residential market. Some of these changes have been assisted by the particular circumstances of the gas market, especially the contracts which the incumbent has inherited. The Regulator is relying increasingly on prevention of undue discrimination for control of the dominant supplier, and this principle has been discussed and applied in a number of cases within the industry. Liberalization also raises important distributional issues, especially in the residential market. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Waddams Price, Catherine, 1997. "Competition and Regulation in the UK Gas Industry," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 47-63, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:13:y:1997:i:1:p:47-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Stoeckel, Andrew, 2009. "The potential impact of the global financial crisis on world trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5134, The World Bank.
    2. McKibbin, Warwick J & Vines, David, 2000. "Modelling Reality: The Need for Both Inter-temporal Optimization and Stickiness in Models for Policy-Making," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 106-137, Winter.
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    5. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Wilcoxen, Peter J., 1998. "The theoretical and empirical structure of the G-Cubed model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 123-148, January.
    6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    7. John B. Taylor, 2009. "The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong," NBER Working Papers 14631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Warwick J. McKibbin & Andrew Stoeckel, 2010. "The Global Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 9(1), pages 54-86, Winter/Sp.
    9. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Pearce, David & Stegman, Alison, 2007. "Long term projections of carbon emissions," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 637-653.
    10. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Chanthapun, Waranya Pim, 2009. "Exchange Rate Regimes in the Asia-Pacific Region and the Global Financial Crisis," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 36, Asian Development Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Artana, Daniel & Navajas, Fernando & Urbiztondo, Santiago, 2001. "Regulation policies towards utilities and competitive industries. The case of Argentina," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 585-607.
    2. Mario Pagliero, 2000. "Competition in the UK gas industry," ICER Working Papers 12-2000, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    3. Gasmi, Farid & Oviedo, Juan Daniel, 2010. "Investment in transport infrastructure, regulation, and gas-gas competition," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 726-736, May.
    4. Pagliero, Mario, 2003. "Strategic interaction on the UK Gas Transportation System: the St. Fergus and Bacton constraints," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 345-358, July.
    5. Huw Dixon & Joshy Easaw, 2001. "Strategic Responses to Regulatory Policies: What Lessons Can Be Learned from the U.K. Contract Gas Market?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 18(4), pages 379-396, June.
    6. repec:ver:wpaper:40 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Giovanni Goldoni, 2007. "Un bilancio delle liberalizzazioni dei settori dell’energia elettrica e del gas naturale in Italia e in Europa," Working Papers 40/2007, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Contin, Ignacio & Correlje, Aad & Huerta, Emilio, 2001. "The Spanish distribution system for oil products: an obstacle to competition?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 103-111, January.

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