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Is Irish Utility Regulation Failing Consumers?

  • Patrick Massey

    (Compecon Limited)

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    Over the past decade the energy and communications markets in Ireland, which were traditionally the preserve of State owned monopolies, have been opened up to competition to some extent, largely as a result of EU legislation. This has resulted in changes in the regulatory environment and the establishment of independent regulatory agencies for these industries. The present paper analyses the impact of these changes. It argues that competition, wherever it is possible, is superior to regulation. The paper suggests that policy to date has paid too little attention to measures necessary to promote greater competition and that regulation has failed to protect consumers. The paper concludes that active measures are necessary to promote greater competition in gas, electricity and postal services and that these need to be combined with reforms of the existing regulatory regime.

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    File URL: http://repec.maynoothuniversity.ie/mayecw-files/N1451104.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n1451104.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n1451104
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
    Phone: 353-1-7083728
    Fax: 353-1-7083934
    Web page: http://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/economics-finance-and-accounting

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    1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1994. "The New Economics of Regulation Ten Years After," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 507-37, May.
    2. Ian Senior, 2004. "It's not too late to privatise royal mail," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 39-45, 09.
    3. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Knittel, Chris, 1999. "Market Power in Electricity Markets: Beyond Concentration Measures," Staff General Research Papers 31548, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Martin Ricketts, 2004. "Further lessons from privatisation," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 9-14, 09.
    5. Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Network Competition in Nonlinear Pricing," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-22, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    6. J. Gregory Sidak, 2004. "The failure of good intentions: the collapse of American telecommunications after six years of deregulation," Chapters, in: Successes and Failures in Regulating and Deregulating Utilities, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
    7. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
    8. Vickers, John, 1997. "Regulation, Competition, and the Structure of Prices," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 15-26, Spring.
    9. Pablo T. Spiller & Carlo G. Cardilli, 1997. "The Frontier of Telecommunications Deregulation: Small Countries Leading the Pack," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 127-138, Fall.
    10. Leonard Waverman & Esen Sirel, 1997. "European Telecommunications Markets on the Verge of Full Liberalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 113-126, Fall.
    11. Newbery, David M., 2002. "Problems of liberalising the electricity industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 919-927, May.
    12. Robert G. Harris & C. Jeffrey Kraft, 1997. "Meddling Through: Regulating Local Telephone Competition in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 93-112, Fall.
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