Liberalisation and R&D in Network Industries: The Case of the Electricity Industry

Tooraj Jamasb*, Michael Pollitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Electricity sector liberalisation has coincided with a significant decline in R&D spending. This paper reviews the industrial organisation literature on R&D and innovation to explore the likely causes of the decline in R&D spending in the electricity sector. Meanwhile, R&D productivity and innovative outputs in utilities and equipment suppliers appear to have improved. However, a lasting decline in R&D expenditure can have a negative long-term effect on technological progress and innovation in the sector. We conclude that the decline in R&D could have been predicted from the literature. We also discuss the need to reorient the post-liberalisation technology policy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number6-7
Pages (from-to)995-1008
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Innovation
  • R&D expenditure
  • Electricity reform
  • Regulation
  • Ownership

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