Edited by David Parker and David Saal
Chapter 24: Comparing Regulatory Systems
Anthony Ogus Introduction This chapter explores the institutional frameworks and legal forms which are used in diﬀerent jurisdictions to implement the collective goals explicit or implicit in government regulation.1 Its content is relevant to an analysis of the regulation of privatized utilities, though it goes beyond this. It will focus in particular on what has been generally called ‘economic regulation’, the regulation of prices and quality of services supplied in a market characterized by natural monopoly conditions. However, at points it will refer to ‘social regulation’, or those areas of state intervention generally justiﬁed by reference to externalities and information asymmetries (Ogus, 1994:4–5). We will consider the characteristics of regulatory systems under two main headings: ● ● institutional, for example whether the regulator is a branch of government or an agency, to a greater or lesser extent independent of government, and the principles of accountability; and procedural and managerial, for example any requirements of transparency of decision making and internal systems of considering costs and beneﬁts. However, as soon as we leap into comparisons between national systems, we realize that there is a risk of oversimpliﬁcation if little account is taken of the cultural and constitutional context in which the regime is to be found (Daintith, 1988). By way of illustration, take the case of licensing (say) taxis. We may ﬁnd a strong resemblance between the regimes in two diﬀerent jurisdictions: similar conditions may be stipulated for the grant of a licence, and similar processes...
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