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Working paper / Energy

Partisan Liberalizations. A New Puzzle from OECD Network Industries?

Author(s): BELLOC Filippo, NICITA Antonio

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ABSTRACT

We investigate the political determinants of liberalization in OECD network industries, performing a panel estimation over thirty years, through the largest and most updated sample available. Contrary to traditional ideological cleavages, we find that right-wing governments liberalize less than left-wing ones. This result is confirmed when controlling for the existing regulatory conditions that executives find when elected. Furthermore, governments’ heterogeneity, proportional electoral rules, and European Union membership all show positive and statistically significant effects on liberalization. Our findings suggest that, despite the conventional wisdom, the political-economic rationale behind liberalization paths in network industries is far from being assessed.