Hertford College Bridge of Sighs
Forthcoming events
27 April 2016
Annual Westminster Conference
Issues in market governance and regulatory governance

In the 25th anniversary year of the RPI, April’s Westminster conference will take a broad look at market and regulatory governance issues. The day’s deliberations will be divided into four sessions:

  • Governance arrangements for major infrastructure decisions and projects
  • Market governance: competition policies and business conduct regulation
  • Network governance in changing circumstances
  • Governance of devolved regulation: quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Platform speakers and chairs are:

  • Jenny Block, Pinsent Masons
  • Martin Crouch, Ofgem
  • Peter Freeman, CAT
  • David Gray, GEMA
  • Deirdre Hutton, CAA
  • Richard Price, UKRN
  • Bridget Rosewell, NIC
  • Cathryn Ross, Ofwat
  • Mary Starks, FCA
  • John Swift QC
  • John Wotton, CMA
  • George Yarrow, RPI
For further information and costs please see the conference programme and the booking form. Please also see notes on the programme.

12 & 13 September 2016
25th Anniversary Competition Conference, Merton College, Oxford

This year's annual Oxford conference will focus on retrospective assessments of policy performance over the last quarter of a century.

Recent events
Wednesday 25 November 2015
Hertford Seminar in Regulation
Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister, "Pensions regulation: theory and practice"
Monday 7 and 8 September 2015
Competition & Regulation Conference 2015

The RPI’s annual competition conference was convened as a symposium last year, with fewer platform speakers few Power Point projections, and more discussion and dialogue. For that reason, we will not be publishing presentations from the conference. We are very pleased, however, that Steve Smith has provided us the text for his Zeeman lecture. You can read the full speech here. The full programme for the conference is also available.

25 June 2015
Hertford Seminar in Regulation
Jim Venit, Partner and co-head of the Antitrust Competition practice for Europe, Skadden
“Ordoliberalism and timelessness of Article 82”
23 April 2015
Annual Westminster Conference
"Regulation of markets and networks in the UK: the state of play in a period of economic and political uncertainty"
Co-hosted with the UK Regulators Network

The 2015 Westminster conference, co-hosted with the UKRN, reviewed the state of play of UK economic regulation ahead of the general election, including how we have got to current policies and practices and the prospects for future developments in the post-election period.

Presentations from the conference are now available. See also conference programme.

28 November 2014
Hertford Seminar in Regulation
Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority
Monday 8 September and Tuesday 9 September
Competition & Regulation Conference 2014

The future shape of regulation and competition policy in light of changing institutions, practice and politics

For a full list of sessions and speakers please see the conference programme.

Presentations from the conference are now available.

Friday, 25 April 2014, Full day conference, Westminster
Coherence and Stability in the Conduct of Regulatory Policies

Speakers included: Vince Cable, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Peter Freeman, Chairman, Competition Appeal Tribunal; David Gray, Chair, Gas and Electricity Markets Authority; Richard Price, CEO, Office of Rail Regulation; Cathryn Ross, CEO, Water Services Regulation Authority; and Roger Witcomb, Chair, Competition Commission. Presentations from the conference are available.

Thursday, 24 April 2014
Attributes of Effective Regulators: Masterclass in Regulation

Scott Hempling, former director of the US National Regulatory Research Institute, lead this training session for regulators and regulatees.

Friday, 24 January 2014
Jonson Cox, Chair, Water Services Regulation Authority
Hertford Seminar in Regulation (Oxford)

"Regulation in the Water Sector: Tools available to get the best deal for customers"

Hertford College, Oxford.

Other past events
Hertford Seminars in Regulation
Competition Policy Conferences
Beesley Lectures
Occasional conferences & seminars
News and publications

The RPI has published a paper about NHS procurement of enteral feeds, October 2015.

The RPI recently convened its annual Competition Policy Conference. Steve Smith's Zeeman Lecture closed the conference. We will be issuing his speech in our Essays in Regulation series. In the meantime you can read a pdf of his lecture, The use and abuse of the notion of effective competition: Carroll, Orwell and McCarthy revisted?"

RPI submission to the CMA's energy investigation

George Yarrow has filed a short submission on the CMA's Summary of Provisional Findings Report and Notice of Possible Remedies. A pdf version of the submission is available here.

In the Letters and Notes series: Privatisation and untoward consequences in water services: the regulator's role", Ian Byatt, October 2015.

The Political Economy of Markets, George Yarrow, Essays in Regulation New Series

Banks, Monetary Policy and Competition Policy: How Do They Connect?, David Harrison, Studies in Regulation New Series

Presentations from the 2014 Competition Conference are now available.

Former energy regulators have made a joint submission to the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to its current investigation of energy markets. You can read the submission here

The Customer Forum: Customer engagement in the Scottish water sector, Stephen Littlechild, Studies in Regulation New Series

The OFT's Higher Education Report: Could do better, Suzanne Rab, and Heuristics and biases in regulatory decision making, George Yarrow, both in the Letters and Notes series.

Presentations from the recent Westminster conference, "Coherence and Stability in Regulatory Policy" are also now available.

Other recent publications:

In the Essays in Regulation new series George Yarrow considers the widespread use of over-simplified, ‘corrupted’ economics in policymaking and offers some suggestions as to how the problem might be addressed: Dysfunctions in economic policymaking Part I: simple stories, complex systems and corrupted economics

In Letters and Notes, Jon Stern addresses the tendency to continue financial support for major public projects well beyond the time at which it becomes clear that further support is highly inefficient: UK Renewables Demonstration Projects: Who Pulls the Plug?

In a new paper in the RPI's Studies in Regulation series, Professor Stephen Littlechild outlines his concerns about the proposed interpretation of the competition assessment framework for the retail energy sector.

At the end of last year the RPI published two papers in the 'Letters and Notes in Regulation' series: The impact of UK shale gas development on gas prices by George Yarrow and Why airports can face price-elastic demand: margins, lumpiness and leveraged passenger losses by David Starkie and George Yarrow.

Regina Finn and Simon Less outline different forms of regulatory capture in Capture of independent sectoral regulators, an earlier publication in the 'Letters and Notes on Regulation' series.

In Security of electricity supply: is a Capacity Market the answer?, Dr Nigel Evans assesses proposals for the introduction of a ‘Capacity Market’ into wholesale electricity trading arrangements.

See the full list of Letters and Notes in Regulation.

Legal services reform

In 2013 the RPI was commissioned by the Legal Services Board to undertake a study on "Understanding the barriers to entry, exit and changes to the structure of regulated legal firms". The final report presented to the LSB and Law Society, and the executive summary are now available.

Previously RPI chairman George Yarrow submitted brief note in response to the MoJ's call for evidence in the context of its review of legal services regulation.

In 2012 the RPI was commissioned by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) to assess the economic significance of the professional legal services sector in the European Union. The report, published in late 2012, further develops some of the material of an earlier report for the Legal Services Board, and contains a critique of existing 'econometric' work on the economic contribution of legal services. The paper was referenced in Commissioner Viviane Reding's address to the recent plenary session of the CCBE.

Alternatives to wooden headedness

The slides from George Yarrow's 2013 Beesley lecture, Alternatives to wooden headedness: (much) less costly ways of regulating carbon emissions are available here. See also background and related reading.

BIS consultation on regulatory appeals

Please see the RPI response, September 2013.

The future of independent regulation

Many presentations from last year's Westminster conference are available.

Review of appeals mechanisms for Australia’s electricity and gas networks: Final Report published

The Expert Panel final report for Australia’s Standing Council on Energy and Resources may be of interest to those concerned with issues surrounding reviews of regulatory decision making; see also the Standing Council on Energy Resources website.