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The diffusion of a policy innovation in the energy sector: evidence from the collective switching case in Europe


  • Silvia Blasi

    () (University of Padova)

  • Silvia Rita Sedita

    () (University of Padova)


This paper investigates the factors that influence the dissemination of an energy policy innovation, the collective switching, adopting the business ecosystem as unit of analysis. Collective switching is a new phenomenon that recent literature has not yet investigated. It is characterised by a group of people with common characteristics that, through an intermediary, negotiates with the energy suppliers and, thanks to its bargaining power, is able to obtain advantageous contracts. The 6C framework is adopted in order to perform a cross-country analysis oriented to single out differences in the collective switching ecosystems. Through a comparative case study analysis, which examines in rich detail 11 European countries’ collective switching campaigns, this work provides an accurate description of the collective switching business ecosystem and the ways it reacts to a policy innovation. Semi-structured interviews, conducted with consumer associations that organised collective switching campaigns, provide insights for the definition of some policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Blasi & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2018. "The diffusion of a policy innovation in the energy sector: evidence from the collective switching case in Europe," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0229, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0229

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grigorii V. Teplykh, 2018. "Innovations and productivity: the shift during the 2008 crisis," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 53-83, January.
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    5. Ruth Little & Damian Maye & Brian Ilbery, 2010. "Collective purchase: moving local and organic foods beyond the niche market," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(8), pages 1797-1813, August.
    6. Timothy Moss, 2009. "Intermediaries and the Governance of Sociotechnical Networks in Transition," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 41(6), pages 1480-1495, June.
    7. Carlo Cambini & Federico Caviggioli & Giuseppe Scellato, 2016. "Innovation and market regulation: evidence from the European electricity industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(8), pages 734-752, November.
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    9. Yang, Yingkui, 2014. "Understanding household switching behavior in the retail electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 406-414.
    10. Jesper Lindgaard Christensen & Ina Drejer & Poul Houman Andersen & Jacob Rubæk Holm, 2016. "Innovation policy: how can it best make a difference?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 135-139, February.
    11. Rahul Kapoor & Nathan R. Furr, 2015. "Complementarities and competition: Unpacking the drivers of entrants' technology choices in the solar photovoltaic industry," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 416-436, March.
    12. Pollitt, Michael G., 2012. "The role of policy in energy transitions: Lessons from the energy liberalisation era," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 128-137.
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    17. Ruth Little & Damian Maye & Brian Ilbery, 2010. "Collective Purchase: Moving Local and Organic Foods beyond the Niche Market," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 42(8), pages 1797-1813, August.
    18. Rong, Ke & Hu, Guangyu & Lin, Yong & Shi, Yongjiang & Guo, Liang, 2015. "Understanding business ecosystem using a 6C framework in Internet-of-Things-based sectors," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 41-55.
    19. Timothy Moss, 2009. "Intermediaries and the governance of sociotechnical networks in transition," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(6), pages 1480-1495, June.
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    More about this item


    Business Ecosystem; policy innovation; collective switching; energy sector; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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