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Network Industries and Social WelfareThe Experiment that Reshuffled European Utilities$
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Massimo Florio

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674855.001.0001

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(p.326) 10 Conclusions
Network Industries and Social Welfare

Massimo Florio

Oxford University Press

The concluding chapter of the book offers a critical evaluation of the policy design adopted by the European Commission and by other international institutions, from the perspective of consumer welfare. From this angle, the evidence of success of the reform paradigm, as evaluated up to around 2007, seems more limited than expected. Possible reasons and remedies are discussed. The main argument of the book is that, to a certain extent, network industries are ‘political’. Their services are related to important economic welfare issues that are the core of the European social model and of the “EU 2020” goals. Thus, any rethinking on the ownership, structure, and performance of these industries should consider the reasons why energy, telecommunications, transport, water, and some other services still pose special challenges to policy-making. An imperfect competition outcome may be better or not than other forms of regulation, but does not exempt governments from their responsibilities.

Keywords:   political industries, EU 2020, social model, policy evaluation, government

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