Working paper / Energy
The Impact of Who Decides the Rules for Network Use: A 'common pool' analysis of the investment dynamics in different gas network regulatory frames
The liberalization of the natural gas industry has been based on the idea that infrastructure may be used by different gas owners. Different players using the same resources can give raise to ‘commons dilemmas’, which are defined by a conflict between individual rationality and group rationality. To avoid 'commons' inefficiencies, solutions are to establish rules that constrain the players’ use of the network. In order to manage efficiently these situations, 'common pool' agreements can be established either through external authority or by the users themselves. In gas industries both can be found in practice. Public gas regulators can play the role of external authority in some countries, whereas in some other, the infrastructure rules are designed and implemented by the users themselves through players’ agreements. Based on a simple game theoretical model, we compare the economics properties of the ‘EU common carriage’ and the ‘US contract carriage’ systems in term of static and dynamic efficiency. Our analysis allows us to identify missing economic signals in the EU regulatory framework both for static and dynamic efficiency.