Is There a Need for the Internationalization of Regulation?
Network Industries Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp.14-16, 2010
Posted: 13 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 11, 2010
Recent trends in internationalization of utility infrastructure raise the issue of whether there is a need to realign regulatory institutions (Künneke 2008). There are several examples of internationalization of infrastructure. Telecommunications is an increasingly global business (Jamison, 1998; Chan-Olmsted and Jamison, 2001) and electricity and natural gas cross national boundaries. Environmental issues related to infrastructure, most recently climate change, also seem not to respect national boundaries. The California energy crisis earlier this decade demonstrated what can happen with regulatory rules do not align with economic and technological realities (Borenstein 2002).
It is not obvious, though, that regulatory institutions’ geographic boundaries need to align with those of the industries they regulate. Below I describe the principles and issues that determine the design of regulatory institutions. I also explain why internationalization of infrastructure does not necessarily call for an internationalization of regulation, although in today’s changing economic, political, and technological climates, some experimentation would be appropriate.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation