Models, templates and currents: the World Bank and electricity reform

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Title Models, templates and currents: the World Bank and electricity reform
Author Xu, Yi-chong
Journal Name Review of International Political Economy
Year Published 2005
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract This paper argues that the standard model for reforming and restructuring the electricity industry advocated by the World Bank does not work, especially in developing and transition economies. The argument is based on the observation that there is one 'standard' model that is formulated by economists, elaborated from the reform experience in England and Wales, developed into a template for reform by the World Bank, and then transplanted to developing and transition economies. This template for reform has suffered from many failures and no successes, but is still retained. The question is how the World Bank could have got it so wrong in selling the template worldwide. The first section shows the disconnection between the institutionalized economic research and the reality. The second section discusses how the economic model was translated into policy prescriptions by the World Bank, the major force for pushing the reform. The third section examines briefly the reform experience in Orissa, India and China to show that, first, the template does not work because of original disconnection between the economic ideals and political reality, and, second, even if some ideas of the template might have merits, the template could not be copied as it stands.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=t713393878
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09692290500240370
Volume 12
Issue Number 4
Page from 647
Page to 673
ISSN 0969-2290
Date Accessioned 2007-07-25
Date Available 2009-12-17T22:30:22Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject PRE2009-Comparative Government and Politics
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/27686
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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