The aim of this paper is to challenge the widely held view that electricity privatisation in Great Britain (comprised of the markets of England and Wales, and Scotland) was beneficial simply because the price of electricity has subsequently fallen in real terms. This is carried out by comparing the electricity prices actually observed with those that might have been charged had the industry remained in public ownership. In order to do this the paper develops a counterfactual scenario for the likely decisions and effects of a publicly owned industry. This leads the paper to conclude that observed prices are indeed significantly higher than they would have been had privatisation not occurred.
- Electricity; Privatisation; Counterfactual price analysis