Utilities have long been essential for societies, supplying basic services for nations, organizations and households alike. The proper functioning and regulation of utilities is therefore critical for the economy, society and security. History provides an invaluable insight into important issues of the economic and social regulation of utilities and offers guidance for future debates. However, the history of utility regulation – which speaks of changing, diverse and complex experiences around the world – was sidelined or marginalised when economists and policy-makers enthusiastically embraced the question of how to reform the utilities from the 1970s. This book examines in depth the complex regulation and deregulation of energy, communications, transportation and water utilities across Western Europe, the United States, Australia, Brazil, China and India. In each case, attention is drawn to the changing roles of the state, the market and firms in the regulation, organization and delivery of utility services.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Business History.
1. The Economic and Social Regulation of Public Utilities: An International History Judith Clifton, Pierre Lanthier and Harm Schröter 2. Geo-politics versus market structure interventions in Europe’s infrastructure industries c. 1830–1939 Robert Millward 3. Infrastructure and nation building: The regulation and financing of network transportation infrastructures in Spain (1720–2010) Germà Bel 4. States and start-ups: Public competitors in Australian communications Jock Given 5. How politics, economics, and institutions shaped electric utility regulation in the United States: 1879–2009 William J. Hausman and John L. Neufeld 6. The 3 Rs: Regulation, risk and responsibility in British utilities since 1945 Martin Chick 7. Regulation redefined: the case of the electrical industry in Brazil and India from the 1990s to today Pierre Lanthier 8. From national monopoly to multinational corporation: How regulation shaped the road towards telecommunications internationalisation Judith Clifton, Francisco Comín and Daniel Díaz-Fuentes 9. Public utilities and private initiative: The French concession model in historical perspective Dominique Barjot