Review of Industrial Organization 19: 499–502, 2001. Book Review Privatization, Restructuring, and Regulation of Network Utilities, David M. New- bery. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1999, 466 pages. $47 95. David Newbery provides a unique mix of theoretical, institutional, and empirical consideration of issues related to both privatization and liberalization in network industries. Readers looking for answers may come away disappointed, but those looking for evidence and sound public policy methodology will be richly rewarded. The book examines privatization, liberalization, and regulation in the electri- city, telecommunications, and natural gas industries, and draws examples from throughout the world. The basic premise is that regulation is inherently ﬂawed and that competition may mitigate some of the inefﬁciencies of regulation of network utilities. Privatization is necessary but not sufﬁcient for promoting competition – they are portrayed as public policy complements. Professor Newbery does not simplistically assume that liberalization is unambiguously good. He offers cost- beneﬁt analyses of myriad attempts at privatization or liberalization and ﬁnds that some of these have achieved only small social welfare gains while others have provided signiﬁcant increases in social welfare. He also attempts to disaggregate the social welfare changes across different interest groups, as well as
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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