The Italian Electricity Sector Between Privatization and the Fear of Competition

Part of the Central Issues in Contemporary Economic Theory and Policy book series (CICETP)


Italy’s state electricity company ENEL came into being in December 1962 when more than 1,200 electricity companies were nationalised and merged in a single entity, to which the law reserved the monopoly (with only a few exceptions) of the production, distribution and sale of electricity in Italy. ENEL had the status of an economic public body and characteristics (direct operativeness, monosectoriality, clear identification of objectives) which left very limited room for any real entrepreneurial autonomy from the Ministerial Committee charged with laying down the appropriate directives1. In fact, underscoring the strategic role of electricity in Italy’s development, Parliament entrusted ENEL with the role of an economic-policy tool, particularly at a macro-economic level.


Public Authority Vertical Integration Electricity Sector Allocative Efficiency Final User 
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© Servizio Italiano Pubblicazioni Internazionali Srl 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università BocconiMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Università di BolognaItaly

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