The strange case of water regulation in Italy

Lorenzo Bardelli of the Independent Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water  (AEEGSI) discusses how regulation in the Italian water sector is changing, including the initial challenges and recent initiatives. A new regulatory framework sets out cost reimbursement through tariffs, contractual quality incentives, and a standard agreement for concessions. AEEGSI will continue to promote regulatory initiatives that deliver a more stable, predictable and accountable water sector

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Setting the efficiency for NHS Trusts: has Monitor got the balance right?

As sector regulator for health services in England, Monitor is responsible for designing effective incentive mechanisms for NHS management to promote the interests of patients. To that end, it is tasked with setting prices for a range of healthcare services that reflect efficient costs. As part of the 2016/17 national tariffs, a sector-wide efficiency factor of 2% has been proposed. Here we explore the methodology underpinning the efficiency factor and compare it with approaches and frameworks considered by utility regulators

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Behavioural toppings for the sugar tax

George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, recently announced a sugar levy on the soft drinks industry. A tax may discourage the consumption of sugary drinks by making them more expensive, but there are questions over how responsive consumers will be. The way in which the tax is presented will be important, as will be the introduction of complementary measures. Behavioural economics, and precedent from elsewhere, offer insights into effective policy design

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Why vertical restraints? New evidence from a business survey

The European Commission’s e-commerce inquiry and various investigations by national competition authorities have brought vertical restraints under the spotlight again. It is widely acknowledged that, while these practices can have anti-competitive effects, they can also bring consumer benefits. A recent Oxera report, commissioned by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, presents primary evidence on the business rationale for such practices

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