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The Regulation of Privatized Monopolies in the United Kingdom


  • M.E. Beesley
  • S.C. Littlechild


This article examines the experience in the United Kingdom with the regulation of privatized monopolies. Its conclusions are (1) that there are significant differences between RPI - X (or price-cap) and U.S. rate-of-return regulation, which provides greater scope for bargaining in the former system; (2) that U.K. regulators have taken seriously their duty to promote competition, but that the existing economic literature is of limited help in this task; (3) that price regulation is likely to be more effective where technology is changing slowly and/or where technology is changing rapidly; and (4) that the case for RPI - X price-cap, rather than rate-of-return regulation, is strongest in telecommunications, gas supply, and electricity supply and least strong in gas and electricity transmission grids.

Suggested Citation

  • M.E. Beesley & S.C. Littlechild, 1989. "The Regulation of Privatized Monopolies in the United Kingdom," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 454-472, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:20:y:1989:i:autumn:p:454-472

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