Better safe than sorry? Reliability policy in network industries
This report develops a roadmap for reliability policy in network industries. Based on economic theory, we analyse the relationship between reliability and various types of government policy: privatisation, liberalisation, regulation, unbundling, and 'commitment policy'. We let government policy depend on (1) the feasibility of competition between networks, (2) contractibility of reliability, and (3) the relation between profit maximisation and public interests. We test this roadmap on the basis of the empirical literature and case studies on electricity, natural gas, drinking water, wastewater, and railways.
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