Network Industries and Social Welfare: The Experiment that Reshuffled European Utilities

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9780199674855: Network Industries and Social Welfare: The Experiment that Reshuffled European Utilities

A dramatic change of ownership, regulation, and organisation of essential public services, such as electricity, gas, and telecommunications, has taken place in Europe in less than twenty years. This was not the outcome of spontaneous adaptation, but an entirely top-down policy experiment, mainly conceived in London during Mrs. Thatcher's years, then pursued in Brussels - the "capital" of the European Union--and imposed on more or less reluctant players by laws, directives, regulations, and administrative and judicial decisions. The European reform paradigm revolves around three pillars: privatization, unbundling, and regulated liberalization of network industries. These industries, despite the reforms, are still special, as they include core natural monopoly components (the electricity grid, the gas pipelines, the telephony networks, etc.), are often based on complex system integration of different segments (for example of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and retail supply), and offer services that have critical social and economic importance, from heating to internet. This book offers a careful scrutiny of energy and telephony reforms and prices paid by households in fifteen countries across Western Europe. It attempts to answer such questions as: Are the consumers in Europe happier than they were before the reforms? Do they pay less? Do they get a better quality for the services?

Network Industries and Social Welfare provides an overview of the main facts, the conceptual issues, and of the empirical evidence on pricing, perceptions of quality of service, and the issues of utility poverty and social affordability. It suggests that the benefits of the reforms for the consumers have often been limited and that governments should reconsider their overconfidence in regulated market mechanisms in network industries.

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About the Author:


Massimo Florio is Professor of Public Economics and the Jean Monnet Chair 'ad personam' of EU Industrial Policy at the University of Milan, where he has also been the head of the Department of Economics, Business, and Statistics. He has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics and in other British Universities, where he started his research on privatisation, leading to his book "The Great Divestiture" (MIT Press, 2004). For more than 20 years, Professor Florio has advised the European Commission, mainly on social cost-benefit analysis of infrastructure projects under the EU regional policy. He has also advised the OECD, the European Investment Bank, the European Parliament, and the World Bank. He is working with CIRIEC to establish a research network on the future of public enterprise.

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Massimo Florio
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 019967485X ISBN 13: 9780199674855
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A dramatic change of ownership, regulation, and organisation of essential public services, such as electricity, gas, and telecommunications, has taken place in Europe in less than 20 years. This was not the outcome of spontaneous adaptation, but an entirely top-down policy experiment, mainly conceived in London during Mrs Thatcher s years, then pursued in Brussels - the capital of the European Union - and imposed on more or less reluctant players by laws, directives, regulations, and administrative and judicial decisions. The European reform paradigm revolves around three pillars: privatisation, unbundling, and regulated liberalisation of network industries. These industries, despite the reforms, are still special, as they include core natural monopoly components (the electricity grid, the gas pipelines, the telephony networks, etc.), are often based on complex system integration of different segments (for example of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and retail supply), and offer services that have critical social and economic importance, from heating to internet.This book offers a careful scrutiny of energy and telephony reforms and prices paid by households in 15 countries across Western Europe. It attempts to answer such questions as: Are the consumers in Europe happier than they were before the reforms? Do they pay less? Do they get a better quality for the services? Network Industries and Social Welfare provides an overview of the main facts, the conceptual issues, and of the empirical evidence on pricing, perceptions of quality of service, and the issues of utility poverty and social affordability. It suggests that the benefits of the reforms for the consumers have often been limited and that governments should reconsider their overconfidence in regulated market mechanisms in network industries. Codice libro della libreria POW9780199674855

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Massimo Florio
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 019967485X ISBN 13: 9780199674855
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A dramatic change of ownership, regulation, and organisation of essential public services, such as electricity, gas, and telecommunications, has taken place in Europe in less than 20 years. This was not the outcome of spontaneous adaptation, but an entirely top-down policy experiment, mainly conceived in London during Mrs Thatcher s years, then pursued in Brussels - the capital of the European Union - and imposed on more or less reluctant players by laws, directives, regulations, and administrative and judicial decisions. The European reform paradigm revolves around three pillars: privatisation, unbundling, and regulated liberalisation of network industries. These industries, despite the reforms, are still special, as they include core natural monopoly components (the electricity grid, the gas pipelines, the telephony networks, etc.), are often based on complex system integration of different segments (for example of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and retail supply), and offer services that have critical social and economic importance, from heating to internet.This book offers a careful scrutiny of energy and telephony reforms and prices paid by households in 15 countries across Western Europe. It attempts to answer such questions as: Are the consumers in Europe happier than they were before the reforms? Do they pay less? Do they get a better quality for the services? Network Industries and Social Welfare provides an overview of the main facts, the conceptual issues, and of the empirical evidence on pricing, perceptions of quality of service, and the issues of utility poverty and social affordability. It suggests that the benefits of the reforms for the consumers have often been limited and that governments should reconsider their overconfidence in regulated market mechanisms in network industries. Codice libro della libreria POW9780199674855

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