IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The arguments for and against ownership unbundling of energy transmission networks

The question this paper addresses is: what is the evidence for the superiority of the ownership unbundled transmission models (i.e. UK or Nord Pool hybrid) over other models? We assess the theoretical costs and benefits of ownership unbundling and judge these to be generally positive, though these may be potentially offset by the actual reorganisation costs of the ownership unbundling process. Next, we assess the empirical evidence. This is in two forms – econometric evidence from samples of countries and case studies of reforms in particular jurisdictions. The econometric evidence is weak due to problems with simultaneity of reform steps and a lack of studies, but the case study evidence is compelling. We conclude with a discussion of of the issues faced by countries considering implementing ownership unbundling. We conclude that evidence seems to be that ownership unbundling of transmission is a key part of energy market reform in the most successful reform jurisdictions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 403 Forbidden. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Jake Dyer)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0737.

in new window

Length: 24
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0737
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bolle, Friedel & Breitmoser, Yves, 2006. "On the Allocative Efficiency of Ownership Unbundling," Discussion Papers 255, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  2. Silvester van Koten & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "The Unbundling Regime for Electricity Utilities in the EU: A Case of Legislative and Regulatory Capture?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp328, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  3. Preetum Domah & Michael G. Pollitt, 2001. "The restructuring and privatisation of the electricity distribution and supply businesses in England," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 107-146, March.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2005. "Regulation And Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 791-825, 06.
  5. Nemoto, Jiro & Goto, Mika, 2004. "Technological externalities and economies of vertical integration in the electric utility industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 67-81, January.
  6. Hattori, Toru & Tsutsui, Miki, 2004. "Economic impact of regulatory reforms in the electricity supply industry: a panel data analysis for OECD countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 823-832, April.
  7. Cremer, Helmuth & Crémer, Jacques & De Donder, Philippe, 2006. "Legal vs Ownership Unbundling in Network Industries," IDEI Working Papers 405, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Jamasb, Tooraj & Mota, Raffaella & Newbery, David & Pollitt, Michael, 2005. "Electricity sector reform in developing countries : a survey of empirical evidence on determinants and performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3549, The World Bank.
  9. Littlechild, S.C. & Skerk, C.J., 2004. "Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part I: State ownership, reform and the Fourth Line," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0464, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. M. Pollitt, 2004. "Electricity reform in Chile. Lessons for developing countries," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 5(3), pages 221-263, September.
  11. Domah, P. & Pollitt, M.G., 2000. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of Electricity Distribution and Supply Businesses in England and Wales: A Social Cost Benefit Analysis," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0007, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2005. "Does antitrust policy improve consumer welfare? Assessing the evidence," Chapters, in: Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar.
  13. Georg Zachmann, 2007. "A Markov Switching Model of the Merit Order to Compare British and German Price Formation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 714, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Faye Steiner, 2001. "Regulation, industry structure and performance in the electricity supply industry," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(1), pages 143-182.
  15. Baarsma, Barbara & de Nooij, Michiel & Koster, Weero & van der Weijden, Cecilia, 2007. "Divide and rule. The economic and legal implications of the proposed ownership unbundling of distribution and supply companies in the Dutch electricity sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1785-1794, March.
  16. Green, R. & Lorenzoni, A. & Perez, Y. & Pollitt, M., 2006. "Benchmarking Electricity Liberalisation in Europe’Benchmarking Electricity Liberalisation in Europe," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0629, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
  18. Kwoka, J. & Pollitt, M., 2007. "Industry Restructuring, Mergers, And Efficiency: Evidence From Electric Power," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0725, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  19. Newbery, David M & Pollitt, Michael G, 1997. "The Restructuring and Privatization of Britain's CEGB--Was It Worth It?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 269-303, September.
  20. Joskow, Paul L & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Transmission Rights and Market Power on Electric Power Networks I: Financial Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 2093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0737. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jake Dyer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.