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Assessing the Effects of Privatisation, Competition and Regulation on Economic Performance : The Case of Electricity Sector Reform


  • Yin-Fang Zhang


  • David Parker
  • Colin Kirkpatrick


Over the last two decades electricity sectors in both developed and developing countries have been subject to restructuring to introduce private capital and increase competition. This has been accompanied by the introduction of new regulatory regimes. Although the effects of such reforms in a number of the developed economies are now well documented, apart from a few case studies the experience of developing countries is much less well researched. This is important because privatisation, competition and the reform of state regulation are key themes of donor aid programmes, notably those of the World Bank. This paper provides an econometric assessment of the effects of privatisation, competition and regulation on the performance of the electricity generation industry using panel data for 36 developing and transitional countries, over the period 1985 to 2003. The study identifies the impact of these reforms on generating capacity, electricity generated, labour productivity in the generating sector and capacity utilisation. The main conclusions are that on their own privatisation and regulation do not lead to obvious gains in economic performance, though there are some positive interaction effects. By contrast, introducing competition does seem to be effective in stimulating performance improvements.

Suggested Citation

  • Yin-Fang Zhang & David Parker & Colin Kirkpatrick, 2005. "Assessing the Effects of Privatisation, Competition and Regulation on Economic Performance : The Case of Electricity Sector Reform," Development Economics Working Papers 22589, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22589

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Schmidthaler & Jed Cohen & Johannes Reichl & Stefan Schmidinger, 2015. "The effects of network regulation on electricity supply security: a European analysis," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 285-316, December.

    More about this item


    Privatisation; competition; regulation; developing economies;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General


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