Public information, private profit: how should government agencies compete?

Public sector agencies are the largest producers of information in Europe. This information has been recognised as an under-exploited asset, worth around €68 billion per year. The European model is to charge companies for public sector information, whereas US government agencies typically distribute data for free. From a public policy perspective, what are the effects on competition and efficiency of trying to recover the costs of public information from the private sector?

Read More

Competition as a public policy tool: what is the evidence?

A key priority for the government is to increase UK productivity by extending competitive markets. Competition helps drive productivity by acting as a spur to managerial incentives and productive efficiency through ‘natural selection’ of firm entry and exit, and by promoting incentives to innovate. However, as Andrew Rees, Director, Analysis and Research, Consumer and Competition Policy, DTI, and Sasha Maguire, Economist, DTI, explain, recent evidence on these effects is perhaps less well known

Read More

Efficiency and competition policy: an unconventional view

Where are the inefficiencies—in production, in allocation of resources, or somewhere else? Adriaan ten Kate, Head of the Economics Directorate at Mexico's Federal Competition Commission, addresses these questions. He explains why the greatest harm to welfare may come from 'lost opportunities'—transactions that never materialise—and points to some important lessons for competition policy

Read More

In sickness and in health: improving the analysis of healthcare mergers

Market-based healthcare reforms in many countries are resulting in mergers between healthcare providers such as hospitals. Assessing the competitive effects of these mergers is far from straightforward, especially in the area of geographic market definition. However, some techniques used to define the relevant geographic market are better than others. Using the most robust methods can make the difference between a merger being approved or being blocked

Read More

Where has the innovation gone? R&D in UK utility regulation

If current trends continue, the UK economy may suffer as the effects of reduced R&D effort in key infrastructure sectors feed into lower productivity growth throughout the economy. Liberalisation, the design of the regulatory regime, and changes in utility financing may all help to explain the trend for falling R&D intensity across most utility sectors. This article examines several options for regulatory reform to address these challenges

Read More

Margin for error? security of supply in electricity

Electricity supply security relies on sufficient and timely investment in generation and network infrastructure. Market liberalisation is placing the responsibility for ensuring security firmly on the private sector, but how can we be sure that markets are investing appropriately? A benchmark is needed against which to monitor market performance

Read More

Was it worth it? How to evaluate policy

There is a growing need for robust ex post evaluation of policy interventions, the impetus for which is a desire by policy-funders for more effective accountability and decision-making. This article suggests that evaluation is not fraught with difficulties, as is often perceived to be the case, and sets out how a successful evaluation could be designed, building on Oxera's recent work for the UK Department for Transport

Read More

Reinsurance in the EU: voluntary or mandatory regulation?

The European Parliament has recently approved proposals to harmonise establishment and supervision rules of reinsurance as a way of promoting the single market in financial services. This legislation will introduce mandatory licensing by competent home country authorities and will require changes to the way reinsurance is regulated in a number of Member States. Has the right choice been made between voluntary or mandatory regulation?

Read More

Risky business: do European investors need protection?

Retail investors are exposed to a range of risks when engaging an investment firm to carry out services on their behalf. What are the main risks, and how adequate are current arrangements to protect investors? These questions are addressed in a report published this month, prepared by Oxera for the European Commission, which focuses on the statutory investor compensation schemes established in the EU Member States

Read More

Has yardstick competition had its day?

Given the risks and costs involved in setting targets for regulated companies based on the performance of a handful of comparators, why do regulators continue to use frontier benchmarks, when there are cheaper and more conservative approaches available to them? Furthermore, what lessons can be learnt from the UK experience for those implementing incentive frameworks?

Read More

Product migration: a problem for market definition?

There are markets where consumers migrate from one product to another—for example, from dial-up Internet to broadband, or from VHS to DVD. Competition investigations often question whether the old and new products should be treated as competitors. Policy practice is not always consistent. Can economic theory offer any answers?

Read More

Which WACC when? A cost of capital puzzle

Real or nominal? Pre-tax or post-tax? (Or even vanilla?) The number of 'flavours' for calculating the weighted average cost of capital is sometimes bewildering. It is often assumed that they all reach more or less the same conclusion, but is this always the case? Contrary to common belief among practitioners, different styles of calculation have a material impact on the value of cash flow to investors.

Read More

Open menu Close Search Play video RSS Feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Youtube Connect with us on Linkedin Email us Copy link

English