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European gas regulation: a change of focus


  • Spanjer, Aldo


This paper confronts the current European gas regulation with the emerging new energy paradigm. It argues that due to a lack of policy credibility, the hold-up problem is a serious threat that will undermine the workings of the future EU gas market. This paper explores how one could from a theoretical perspective, given the characteristics of the EU gas markets, try to solve the hold-up problem. Two conclusions are 1) that hold-up will not be solved completely and 2) that in order to solve the hold-up problem as much as possible, the underlying assumption of energy policy should be changed. More specifically, the regulatory focus should no longer emphasize predominantly the consumer interests, but should instead more explicitly recognize producer interests. This implies that the current European gas regulation requires a change of focus.

Suggested Citation

  • Spanjer, Aldo, 2006. "European gas regulation: a change of focus," MPRA Paper 21146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21146

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Newbery, David M., 2001. "Economic reform in Europe: integrating and liberalizing the market for services," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 85-97, June.
    2. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    3. Sioshansi, Fereidoon P., 2005. "Global climate change: here to stay," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 240-246, September.
    4. Schmidt, Klaus M., 2000. "The political economy of mass privatization and the risk of expropriation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 393-421, February.
    5. Steven Tadelis & Oliver E.Williamson, 2012. "Transaction Cost Economics," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), : The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    6. Spiller, Pablo T, 1996. "Institutions and Commitment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 421-452.
    7. Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2002. "Machiavellian Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 240-258, March.
    8. Dieter Helm, 2005. "The Assessment: The New Energy Paradigm," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, Spring.
    9. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1990. "Sequential Regulatory Oversight," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 327-348, December.
    10. Williamson, Oliver E, 1971. "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 112-123, May.
    11. Paul Levine & John Stern & Francesc Trillas, 2005. "Utility price regulation and time inconsistency: comparisons with monetary policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 447-478, July.
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    More about this item


    gas regulation; hold-up; regulation theory; new energy paradigm;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy


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