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Part Hare, Part Tortoise - Explaining patterns in Norwegian public utilities reforms 1990-2010

Jostein Askim and Dag Harald Claes

Utilities Policy, 2011, vol. 19, issue 2, 87-94

Abstract: In this article we compare four Norwegian public utilities sectors: the electricity industry, the e-com industry, the railway and the postal service. All sectors have been subject to public policy reforms since the 1980s, though reform content and degree varies. In the electricity industry Norway is a liberalization forerunner - a virtual reform "hare", to borrow from Olsen's (1996) Aesop's fable metaphor. In other network industries such as the railway Norway is a reform "tortoise". We seek to answer the question: How and why has governance of the four industries been reformed? We explore four possible explanations for similarities and differences across sectors: technological change, market conditions, agency and European Union (EU) regulation. We cannot identify a national model for reforms across these sectors. We find single factors standing out in the explanation of the reforms in the various sectors. The puzzle is that it is different factors in different sectors.

Keywords: Public; utilities; Public; sector; reform; Norway; Regulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:19:y:2011:i:2:p:87-94