Centre for Competition & Regulatory Policy
Welcome to the Centre for Competition & Regulatory Policy.
CCRP is a research-oriented centre that brings together academics and practitioners working in the areas of competition and regulation. The Centre was established in June 2005.
Founding and organising members
- Director Dr Xeni Dassiou (City University London)
- Dr Albert Banal-Estanol (City University London)
- Emeritus Professor John Cubbin (CCRP, City, University of London)
- Dr Francesc Trillas (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
- Honorary Visiting Professor Jon Stern (Senior Visiting Fellow, CCRP, City University London)
Other academic staff members
Our aim is to develop and disseminate research that can improve the functioning of regulated and non-regulated markets. To this end, our members are currently working on a wide range of relevant topics in competition and regulation as well as on themes in the broader sphere of IO (e.g. industrial organization and financial economics interaction, mode of entry of multinational firms in foreign markets, impact of the nature of the financial contracts on competition in the real sector, effects of corporate debt on managerial compensation, managerial herding, mergers, trust updating in infrastructure contracts, estimating dynamic discrete choice models, etc.), Game Theory and Behavioural Economics. As part of our research programme, we are making available a set of Working Papers and Publications by the Centre members and academic staff.
Among other activities, the CCRP has organised during the last decade regular bi-annual research workshops, special policy event days and more recently annual competition policy roundtables. The thematic coverage of such events includes the following:
- Economic Regulation of Infrastructure Industries (including Electricity, Telecoms, Gas, Water and other infrastructure industries such as airports, postal services, etc.)
- Economic Regulation of Quasi-Markets (e.g. Health, Education, and other public services)
- General, Legal and Industry/Market specific Competition Policy Issues
- Boundaries and overlaps between Economic Regulation and Competition Policy for Utilities and Networks, Financial Services, Quasi-Markets, etc.
- The role of Behavioural Economics in Competition and Regulation
- ESRC grant: Benefits and Costs of Knowledge and Technology Transfer: A Panel Data Analysis; RESE-000-22-2806; 94,000.
- City University Pump Priming Research Grant: Pilot Study of the Benefits and Costs of Knowledge and Technology Transfer; £6,000.
Research Work Commissioned
Work commissioned by the Ofgem, February 2019
- Independent Review of ESO regulatory and incentives framework – Dr Xeni Dassiou, 15th March 2019. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2019/03/academic_qa_of_framework_2018-19_xeni_dassiou.pdf. Please refer to https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/independent-review-eso-regulatory-and-incentives-framework for full details.
Work commissioned by the BBC Trust, January 2016
- Charter Review price setting models: A rail and road comparison study, Dr Xeni Dassiou, January 2016. Please refer to The BBC Trust for full details.
Ofgem (Office for Gas and Electricity Markets) Framework Agreement for the Provision of Academic and Panel Services February 2017 (CON/SPEC/2017-017) Individual contracts for Dr Albert Banal Estanol and Dr Xeni Dassiou
CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) September 2016 (3+1 years) Framework Contract for the provision of “Economic and Social Research Services to the CMA” (PROC 084 -2015 , Dr Xeni Dassiou, Dr Albert Banal-Estanol, Dr Klaus Zauner, subcontractors for Rand Europe)
Financial Ombudsman Service, London, 2015
Training course on economic markets, asymmetric information and behavioural economics for the senior management of the FOS. (Dr Xeni Dassiou, £4,320)
Ofgem (Office for gas and electricity markets), London, February 2008- January 2012
Training courses on energy competition and regulation for energy markets regulators. (Dr Xeni Dassiou and Dr Albert Banal-Estanol, £60,200)
Ofgem (Office for gas and electricity markets), London, October 2002 - October 2007
Training courses on energy competition and regulation for energy markets regulators. (Dr Xeni Dassiou and Professor John Cubbin, in excess of £50,000)
Recent Collaboration Activities
Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) London School of Economics
CCRP is delighted to announce the commencement of its academic collaboration with the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the LSE (http://www.lse.ac.uk/accounting/CARR) organising bi-annual Round Tables with the hosting alternating between the two institutions. CARR is an interdisciplinary research centre; its core intellectual work focuses on the organisational and institutional settings for risk management and regulatory practices. In that sense the work of the two centres is complementary as CCRP’s core focus is the economic analysis of competition and regulatory policy. We will also consider other ways in which the two centres can collaborate; for example by launching a joint series of discussion papers, etc. The director of CARR is Professor Martin Lodge. The first Roundtable will take place in 14th March 2019 and will be hosted in City.
Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) - The Beesley Lectures
CCRP is delighted to confirm the continuation of its involvement as an academic partner to the running of the Beesley Lectures which are run by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The partnership commenced in 2012.
The Beesley Lectures were named in memory of Professor Michael Beesley who founded the series in 1991 and organised them until his death in 1999. Professor Beesley was a leading architect of the British system of utility regulation and a managing trustee of the IEA.
The lectures are a professional and social highlight for representatives from across the regulatory spectrum and continue to attract key figures from all business sectors. This annual series consists of 8 weekly winter evening lecturers running in late October – early December.
The Round Table on 14th March 2019 on the topic “Financial & Financing Structures of Infrastructure Networks: Should Regulators be Active in Regulating These, and, If So, How Far?” marked the commencement of the academic collaboration between CCRP and CARR (LSE) in running Competition and Regulation.
The meeting looked at whether infrastructure industry regulatory agencies should regulate the Financial and Financing Structures of the industries for which they are responsible, if so, how far should they go in doing so. Among the issues covered were:
Should regulators be more active over the financial structures that regulated companies choose to adopt than they have been in the past and, if so, why?
Should regulators be more active regulating the returns earned by regulated companies within regulatory periods than they have been in the past and, if so, why?
Pre-2010, infrastructure industry regulators said that these issues were not of concern provided that regulated companies delivered on output, efficiency and cost targets. What has led to this view being changed? Does it mean the effective demise of RPI-X regulation?
Round Table Chair: Jon Stern, Honorary Professor, CCRP. Panellists: Professor Julian Franks, London Business School, Professor Martin Lodge, CARR, LSE, Cathryn Ross, Director of Regulatory Affairs, BT Group, Plc, Thomas Sharpe QC, Barrister, One Essex Court, Mary Starks, Executive Director, Ofgem.
The Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy in collaboration with OXERA run a highly successful and influential high level Round Table with the topic "New Insights into competition regulation and consumer protection" with a stellar cast of panellists on 26 October 2018. These included:
- Adam Farkas, The Executive Director of the European Banking Authority
- Professor Amelia Fletcher, OBE. Amelia is a Professor of Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia. She also sits on the board of the Financial Conduct Authority and was appointed Non-Executive Director of the Competition and Markets Authority on 1 October 2016.
- Professor Paul Grout (Bristol University). Paul is also a Non-Executive Director of Ofgem (the UK energy regulator), a member of Ofgem's Remuneration Committee and the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, Chair of Ofgem's RIIO2 (i.e., networks regulation) Committee as well as the Senior Advisor for Competition at the Bank of England and a member of Ofcom's (the UK regulator of communication industries) Academic Panel.
- Mary Starks, The Executive Director of Ofgem (previously the Chief Economist at the FCA).
The panellists looked at the demand sides and remedies in competition, the most fundamental technological changes facing competition regulation (including fintech and block chain developments) , the long run issues of competition in financial services and their implications for consumer protection, as well as what lessons can be transferred across the use of financial regulation to utilities regulation and vice versa. The Roundtable was a highly successful event with a large number of attendees from regulatory bodies, senior practitioners from consultancies, academics and PG students. Following some compelling presentations by the panelists the event was followed by a very lively discussion and questions from the floor. Please click here for the slide attachments of the talks by Amelia Fletcher and Adam Farkas.
CCRP Roundtable 1st February 2018
The February 2018 CCRP Annual Competition Policy Round Table took place at City University of London in the Northampton Square campus on 1st February 2018. This year’s topic was “Competition Policy in Troubled Times”.
The Roundtable looked at the increased scepticism concerning the performance of markets in terms of the outcomes in consumer welfare, income inequality and protecting vulnerable customers. There are questions surrounding the political consensus for competition law, whether competition economics is still producing a sound basis for effective decisions, whether competition law is fit or purpose and if not what do about it.
The background for the discussion is based on the revival of interest in activist industrial policy and the role of national “strategic” objectives and other public policy concerns vis-a-vis competition.
There is a number of related readings connected to the panellists’ talks and the discussion that followed:
Round table chair
Jon Stern, Honorary Visiting Professor, CCRP, City University of London
- Cristina Caffarra, Head of European Competition, Charles Rivers Associates
- David Currie, Chairman, Competition and Markets Authority
- Peter Freeman CBE QC (Hon), Chairman, Competition Appeals Tribunal
- Martin Lodge, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, LSE
- Bruce Lyons, Professor of Economics, Centre for Competition Policy
- University of East Anglia
CCRP Roundtable 6th July 2017
A summer CCRP Roundtable took place at Cass Business School on Thursday 6th July 2017. The topic was “Brexit and the Future of UK Economic Regulation; Key Issues and Challenges” and it served as a continuation of the coverage by the January Roundtable by shifting the focus from Competition Policy to the implications of Brexit on Economic Regulation.
The Round Table was conducted under Chatham House Rules, and was opened by the Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Theo Farrell.
Jon Stern was the acting Chair, with panel contributors Martin Cave (Imperial College Business School), Dan Elliott (Frontier Economics), Dermot Nolan (UKRN), Thomas Sharpe QC (One Essex Court) and Catherine Waddams (University of East Anglia).
CCRP Roundtable 19th January 2017
The January 2017 CCRP Annual Competition Policy Round Table took place at Cass Business School on Thursday 19th January. The January Round Table's topic was “Brexit and the Future of Competition Policy; Key Issues and Challenges”.
The Round Table was conducted under Chatham House Rules, and was opened by the Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Theo Farrell.
Jon Stern was the acting Chair was the acting Chair, with panel contributors Antonio Bavasso (Allen & Overy), Andrea Coscelli (CMA), Helen Jenkins (Oxera), Mary Starks (FCA) and Helen Weeds (CCRP Associate & CRA).
CCRP Roundtable 21st January 2016
CCRP's winter 2016 competition policy roundtable was this year hosted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Thursday 21 January 2016.
The January Round Table’s topic was “Competition Policy, Markets and Social Obligations in a Digital World". Jon Stern was the acting Chair, with panel contributors: Alex Chisholm (CMA), Xeni Dassiou (City, University of London), Amelia Fletcher (UEA), Eliana Garces-Tolon (European Commission), David Stewart (Towerhouse) and Jonathan Oxley (Ofcom).
Read Alex Chisholm’s (CMA Chief Executive) full address at the CCRP 2016 Competition Policy Roundtable.
19th CCRP Roundtable and National Audit Office Presentation: Public Service Markets, 22nd January 2015
The January 2015 CCRP workshop took place at City University, in Room C309, Tait Building. See the programme including times and details of the panellists and speakers for the morning Round Table (11:00-13:00) and the NAO afternoon (14:00-16:00) event. A list of the participants and the presentation slides are available to view.
The British Regulation Model: Beyond Competition and Incentive Regulation? March 2014
Joint one day conference: CARR (LSE), CCRP and the IEA. 31st March 2014
The Littlechild Report was published just over 30 years ago. As utility regulation in the UK is moving into established middle age how has the legacy fared in the UK, the EU - and globally? The one-day conference considered the impact of the Littlechild Report on thinking about the regulation of telecommunications, electricity, water and other utility industries. It also left a significant policy impact with a legacy that includes independent regulatory institutions, incentive based regulation and a focus on the role of competition. The contemporary age of utility regulation is characterised by considerable uncertainty about its direction. Regulatory instruments and strategies as well as the role of competition are under challenge across sectors and jurisdictions. Similarly, the boundaries that distinguish independent regulatory and competition authorities from other organizations and from government policy have become more blurred, while the landscape of regulated firms has also changed considerably.
The conference considered the legacy of the Littlechild Report in the context of the UK, the wider OECD, and the developing world. A number of themes emerged. One was the realisation about both the potential of extending competition in utilities, as well as the persistence of the need to regulate certain monopoly aspects. A second aspect was the growing attention paid to co-ordination among sectoral regulators, and among sectoral regulation and competition policy more generally. A third aspect was the role of consumers, including whether and far they could contract directly with utilities. Furthermore, the boundary lines between regulation and politics clearly remain contested. The sessions on the wider OECD and the developing world pointed to varied experiences, noting how regulatory institutions were very much a product of particular political institutions and pre-requisites.