Merton College, Oxford
The RPI’s annual competition conference will this year be convened as a symposium, with a smaller than usual number of platform speakers, and panels for each session convened from the conference participants. While there is always time for audience discussion at RPI conferences, given the quality and general expertise of those who regularly attend, this will be an even stronger feature this year.
“Ordoliberalism and timelessness of Article 82”
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.
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.
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..
Scott Hempling, former director of the US National Regulatory Research Institute, lead this training session for regulators and regulatees.
Hertford Seminar in Regulation (Oxford)
"Regulation in the Water Sector: Tools available to get the best deal for customers"
Hertford College, Oxford.
Competition Policy Conferences
Occasional conferences & seminars
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 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.
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.
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.
Please see the RPI response, September 2013.
Many presentations from last year's Westminster conference are available.
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.