Journal of Regulatory Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 23-67

First online:

The Effects of Public Ownership and Regulatory Independence on Regulatory Outcomes

A Study of Interconnect Rates in EU Telecommunications*
  • Geoff EdwardsAffiliated withCRA International Email author 
  • , Leonard WavermanAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, London Business School

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We examine the effects of public ownership and regulatory agency independence on regulatory outcomes in EU telecommunications. Specifically, we study regulated interconnect rates paid by entrants to incumbents. We find that public ownership of the incumbent positively affects these interconnect rates, and suggest that governments influence regulatory outcomes in favor of incumbents in which they are substantially invested. However, we also find that the presence of institutional features enhancing regulatory independence from the government mitigates this effect. In order to study regulatory independence, we introduce a new cross-country time-series database—the European Union Regulatory Institutions (EURI) Database. This database describes the development of institutions bearing on regulatory independence and quality in telecommunications in the 15 founding EU member states from 1997 to 2003


European Union European Union Regulatory Institutions (EURI) Database interconnect rates National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) privatization public ownership regulatory independence regulatory outcomes telecommunications

JEL Classification

H11 K23 L43 L96 O52 O57