Post-neoliberal electricity market ‘re-reforms’ in Argentina: Diverging from market prescriptions?
Haselip, J. and Potter, C. (2010) Post-neoliberal electricity market ‘re-reforms’ in Argentina: Diverging from market prescriptions? Energy Policy, 38 (2). pp. 1168-1176. ISSN 0301 4215
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2009.11.007
This paper focuses upon the policy and institutional change that has taken place within the Argentine electricity market since the country’s economic and social crisis of 2001/2. As one of the first less developed countries (LDCs) to liberalise and privatise its electricity industry, Argentina has since moved away from the orthodox market model after consumer prices were frozen by the Government in early 2002 when the national currency was devalued by 70%. Although its reforms were widely praised during the 1990s, the electricity market has undergone a number of interventions, ostensibly to keep consumer prices low and to avert the much-discussed energy ‘crisis’ caused by a dearth of new investment combined with rising demand levels. This paper explores how the economic crisis and its consequences have both enabled and legitimised these policy and institutional amendments, while drawing upon the specifics of the post-neoliberal market ‘re-reforms’ to consider the extent to which the Government appears to be moving away from market-based prescriptions. In addition, this paper contributes to sector-specific understandings of how, despite these changes, neoliberal ideas and assumptions continue to dominate Argentine public policy well beyond the postcrisis era.