Regulatory reform had its beginnings in the United States in the 1970s, and today it is taking place around the globe. One of the central questions for industrial policy is how to regulate firms with market power. Regulatory Reform tackles this important policy issue in two parts: it describes an analytical framework for studying the main issues in regulatory reform, and then applies the analysis to the British experience in four utility industries—telecommunications, gas, electricity, and water supply.
The process of selling assets and enterprises to the private sector raises questions about natural monopolies, the efficiency and equity of state-owned versus privately owned enterprises, and industrial policy. This comprehensive analysis of the British privatization program explores these questions both theoretically and empirically.