Journal of Regulatory Economics

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 159–178 | Cite as

Electricity sector reform in developing countries: an econometric assessment of the effects of privatization, competition and regulation

  • Yin-Fang Zhang
  • David Parker
  • Colin Kirkpatrick
Original Article


Electricity sectors in both developed and developing countries have been subject to restructuring to introduce private capital and increase competition. Although the effects of such reforms in a number of the developed economies are now well documented, the experience of developing countries is much less well researched. This paper provides an econometric assessment of the effects of privatization, competition and regulation on the performance of the electricity generation industry using panel data for 36 developing and transitional countries, over the period 1985–2003. The study identifies the impact of these reforms on generating capacity, electricity generated, labor productivity in the generating sector and capacity utilization. The main conclusions are that on their own privatization and regulation (PR) do not lead to obvious gains in economic performance, though there are some positive interaction effects. By contrast, introducing competition does seem to be effective in stimulating performance improvements.


Privatization Competition Regulation Developing economies Electricity sector 

JEL Classifications

L33 L43 L44 L50 012 O38 O50 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yin-Fang Zhang
    • 1
  • David Parker
    • 2
  • Colin Kirkpatrick
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Cranfield School of ManagementCranfield UniversityBedfordshireUK

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