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Ratio Working Paper No. 346: Does published research influence policy outcomes? The case of regulated electricity networks in western Europe

PublicationWorking paper
electricity, regulation, research
Ratio Working Paper No 346
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Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between number of articles about electricity network regulation published in peer-reviewed journals and actual electricity network prices. Data on published articles are sourced from ScienceDirect and network prices are provided by Eurostat. Different empirical approaches give the same result, namely that an increase in the number of published articles reduces the regulated network price. When articles are highly relevant, one additional article published per year reduces the price by at least 10%. Results also show that the influence on prices is delayed and the effect lasts for a few years. A survey is sent out to regulators to better understand if the relationship can be interpreted as causal. Responses reveal that regulators do access and incorporate relevant research into their work. Considering the cost required to continuously publish relevant articles, research seems to be a highly effective complement to more traditional regulatory work.

Söderberg, M. & Yang, Y. (2021). Does published research influence policy outcomes? The case of regulated electricity networks in western Europe. Ratio Working Paper No. 346. Stockholm: Ratio.


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Ratio Working Paper No. 353: From free competition to fair competition on the European internal market
Working paperPublication
Karlson, N., Herold, T. & Dalbard, K.
Publication year

2022

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This paper investigates whether an increased use and reinterpretation of what has been called “fair competition” has occurred at the expense of “free competition” among the central institutions of the European Union. We are also interested in assessing how frequently these terms have been used by the various EU institutions over time.

We have empirically examined this through a quantitative survey of more than 12,000 public documents, out of totally 242 000 documents containing 630 million words, in the EUR-lex database over the last 50 years, from 1970 to 2020. Our conclusion is that the emphasis of the common policies in the EU is likely to have shifted from free competition and an open market economy to “fair competition” in the sense of a level playing field, in official EU documents, such as treaties, EU acts institutions, preparatory documents relating to EU directives and recommendations including motions and resolutions, case law and more.

The European Commission has been a driving force in this development, followed closely by the European Parliament and subsequently by the Council of Ministers. This change entails a risk that the regulation of the European internal market has shifted so that the dynamics of the internal market and thus the EU’s competitiveness will weaken. The change also entails a centralization of decisions at EU level at the expense of the Member States.

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