Cover: Regulating Infrastructure: Monopoly, Contracts, and Discretion, from Harvard University PressCover: Regulating Infrastructure in PAPERBACK

Regulating Infrastructure

Monopoly, Contracts, and Discretion

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674022386

Publication Date: 09/01/2006

Short

448 pages

7 line illustrations, 29 tables

World

In the 1980s and ’90s many countries turned to the private sector to provide infrastructure and utilities, such as gas, telephones, and highways—with the idea that market-based incentives would control costs and improve the quality of essential services. But subsequent debacles including the collapse of California’s wholesale electricity market and the bankruptcy of Britain’s largest railroad company have raised troubling questions about privatization. This book addresses one of the most vexing of these: how can government fairly and effectively regulate “natural monopolies”—those infrastructure and utility services whose technologies make competition impractical?

Rather than sticking to economics, José Gómez-Ibáñez draws on history, politics, and a wealth of examples to provide a road map for various approaches to regulation. He makes a strong case for favoring market-oriented and contractual approaches—including private contracts between infrastructure providers and customers as well as concession contracts with the government acting as an intermediary—over those that grant government regulators substantial discretion. Contracts can provide stronger protection for infrastructure customers and suppliers—and greater opportunities to tailor services to their mutual advantage. In some cases, however, the requirements of the firms and their customers are too unpredictable for contracts to work, and alternative schemes may be needed.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning