Module Identifier EC31610  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark J Rhodes  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite EC30220 or (EC31410 and EC36420)  
Course delivery Lecture   10 Hours.  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 Hours.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours  80%
Semester Assessment Essay20%
Supplementary Exam1.5 Hours  100%

Learning outcomes

On completing this module students will:


This third year semester 2 module discusses the privatisation, and approaches to regulation, of public utility companies. We start from an explanation of the size, cost and market structure for these sectors. The case for privatisation and the welfare arguments for regulation are then examined. Different approaches to regulation are discussed and their application and experience in practice are examined. Topics will be presented in formal lectures and discussed in smaller classes. Independent work through reading, discussion and the completion of exercises is an integral part of the learning process for the module.

Brief description

This module examines why public utility companies were privatised and the reasons for regulating the now private companies. The most effective forms of regulation are discussed and the prctical experience of companies is examined.


Size, Cost and Natural Monopoly
The Case for Privatisation
Network Access and Double Marginalisation
Regulatory Models
Privatisation and Regulation in Practice
Measuring Performance

Reading Lists

D Helm (2001) Making Britain more competitive: A critique of regulation and competition policy Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol.48, No.5, pp.471-487.
D Newbery (1997) Privatisation and liberalisation of network utilities European Economic Review 41, pp.357-383
I Stelzer (Nov, 2000) A review of privatisation and regulation experience in Britain IEA Lecture, Source

D Newbery (1999) Privatisation, restructuring and regulation of network utilities MIT Press
J Vickers and G Yarrow (1988) Privatisation: An economic analysis MIT Press
M Armstrong, S Cowan and J Vickers (1994) Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience MIT Press
M Waterson (1988) Regulation of the firm and natural monopoly Blackwell
P M Jackson and C M Price (1994) Privatisation and regulation: a review of the issues Longman
S Martin and D Parker (1997) The impact of privatisation: Ownership and corporate performance in the UK Routledge


This module is at CQFW Level 6