The 3 Rs: Regulation, risk and responsibility in British utilities since 1945

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Abstract

Before privatisation, required rates of return and test discount rates were being applied to utility and other nationalised industries. One effect of this new approach was to promote more marginal-cost based tariffs which could fall particularly heavily on low-income groups. This trend was reinforced by privatisation which, when accompanied by market liberalisation, increased uncertainty about the likely returns on capital investment projects. Both of these issues, the treatment of poverty and coping with uncertainty, were of long-standing concern to the Austrian school of economics. Where Austrian economists differed from liberalising governments was in their locating of responsibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-760
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness History
Volume53
Issue number5
Early online date25 Aug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • regulation
  • risk
  • responsability
  • Austrian economics
  • privatisation

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