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Utilities: deregulated or re-regulated?


  • Jiří Schwarz


This article addresses the restructuration of the utilities sector/industry, a process generally described as deregulation. At the core of deregulation processes, not only in the EU, but also in the US, lies the replacement of old-fashioned forms of state regulation based on ownership control by new forms of regulation based on the operation of an independent regulatory body. In Central and Eastern European countries undergoing economic transition, surviving communist-type behavior, along with half-implemented EU deregulation directives, have led to specifically re-regulated utility markets. The new forms of regulation applied in the process of deregulation have served only to preserve the market protection of former state monopolies. Regulators who manage deregulation processes in the EU style allocate benefits across organized producer and consumer groups, so that the regulators' total utility is maximized.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiří Schwarz, 2003. "Utilities: deregulated or re-regulated?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2003(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2003:y:2003:i:1:id:206

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    More about this item


    captive customer; cross-subsidy; deregulation; interest group; natural monopoly; public service; re-regulation; regulator; regulatory failure; rent-seeking process;

    JEL classification:

    • B29 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Other
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L59 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Other
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy


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