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Diffusion agents and institutional change: The variable influence of independent regulatory agencies across sectors in India

Shashwat Kumar

Utilities Policy, 2020, vol. 64, issue C

Abstract: The aim of this study is to explore variations in the influence of Independent Regulatory Agencies (IRAs) in regulatory arrangements beyond functional explanations, focusing on six sectors in India. This article maps regulatory arrangements in India using measures of concentration, and coordination to assess actor influence. We observe a correlation between the nature of diffusion agents and the variable influence of IRAs within the regulatory arrangement. To investigate this correlation, research on channels of transfer is juxtaposed with a theory of institutional change. Channels of transfer can induce a type of institutional change that can contribute to explaining variations in the influence of IRAs within regulatory arrangements. Our findings corroborate these expectations. For electricity, a sector strongly exposed to diffusion agents, the formal regulatory arrangement shows IRA as the most influential actor, whereas in the telecommunications sector, the pre-existing governmental actor has managed to retain the influence despite setting up an IRA.

Keywords: Regulatory arrangement; Channels of transfer; Institutional change; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2020.101041

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