Competition and switching in public service markets: Can they reduce inequalities?

Abstract: Regulatory reforms to public infrastructure services across European Union (EU) countries were aimed at increasing consumer welfare by introducing competition and choice into service markets. However, empirical evaluations have questioned whether these reforms have benefitted all consumers, suggesting that vulnerable groups of service users (especially those with lower levels of formal education), might be locked into poorly performing services. We assess the relationship between the level of competition in electricity and fixed telephony markets in EU countries and evaluate the affordability of these services for different socio-educational layers. Our findings show that – although in countries where there is a relatively high frequency of switching, Inequalities between socio-educational groups are smaller and eventually disappear – competition as such does not play a part. These results suggest that demand-side regulation that successfully enables consumer switching has the potential to equalize social welfare, thereby reflecting a possible convergence of regulatory instruments and the central aims of the welfare state in this context. © 2015 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Fuente: Regulation and Governance, Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2017 , pages 41-63

Editorial: Wiley-Blackwell

 Año de publicación: 2017

Nº de páginas: 23

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1111/rego.12110

ISSN: 1748-5983,1748-5991

Proyecto europeo: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/266887/EU/Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future/COCOPS/

Url de la publicación: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rego.12110