Political Economy of Electric Power Market Restructuring: Introduction to Issues and Expectations, A

Over the last three decades a wave of reform has spread nearly every aspect of modern economic activity. Reformers have sought to replace state control with markets in air transportation, telecommunications, banking, ports, railroads, food service, and sundry other activities. Even Russian vodka is the product, today, of markets rather than a state behemoth. The experience with reform has underscored that markets to do not arise or function spontaneously. They require institutions, such as law courts, securities markets and regulatory agencies, to deliver on their promise. Yet the political and practical challenges in creating this institutional footing explain, often, why actual practice remains distant from the economist's theoretical optimum for market reform.