Working & discussion papers

The ACCC publishes working papers and discussion papers prepared by ACCC staff and consultants designed to foster discussion on regulatory, competition and consumer issues.

The papers in this series reflect the views of the individual authors.  The views expressed in the paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the ACCC or the AER.

Working papers

Paper Description
Working paper no. 11 - Best estimates of expected inflation ( PDF 5.87 MB )

This paper is a comparative assessment of four methods of estimating inflation expectations in the context of setting regulated revenues and/or prices for infrastructure services: the Australian Energy Regulator’s current method (which is largely based on the midpoint of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation target band), the bond breakeven inflation rate, inflation expectations implied from zero coupon inflation swaps and survey-based estimates of expected inflation.   

Working Paper no.10 - International insights for the better economic regulation of infrastructure ( PDF 1.16 MB | DOCX 383.96 KB ) This paper compares and contrasts the regulatory design, processes and practices of the seven infrastructure areas and the seventeen countries, with a view to distilling insights for the continuous process of review and development of Australia’s regulatory arrangements.
Working Paper no. 9 - Estimating the market risk premium in regulatory decisions ( PDF 1.31 MB | DOC 347 KB ) A survey of the debate about estimates of the market risk premium based upon historical averages of excess returns and estimates that are conditional on current information.
Working paper no. 8 - Better economic regulation of infrastructure - country-based review ( PDF 6.63 MB | DOCX 2.83 MB ) The review describes regulatory and competition institutions and processes for seven key infrastructure areas (energy, telecommunications, postal services, water and wastewater, rail, airports and ports) for seventeen countries.
Working paper no. 7 - Cost allocation in wholesale water supply ( PDF 222.7 KB | DOC 234.5 KB ) Reviews the allocation of costs between government and users in the regulation of wholesale water service providers in New South Wales.
Working paper no. 6 - Benchmarking energy networks ( PDF 1.75 MB )

Cost benchmarking in energy regulation in European countries - WIK-Consult ( PDF 1.67 MB )

Regulatory practices in other countries - Benchmarking opex and capex in energy networks ( PDF 1.81 MB )

Reviews five alternative benchmarking methods and identifies the major technical and implementation issues in benchmarking energy networks.

The two supplementary reports provide background material for researchers interested in international regulatory practices on cost benchmarking.

Working paper no. 5 - An assessment of research possibilities ( PDF 908.68 KB ) Background material for researchers from the public and private sectors. Companion piece to the working paper no. 2.
Working paper no. 4 - Public utility regulation in Australia ( PDF 918.81 KB ) Outlines concerns and issues that have been raised about public utility regulation in Australia, looks at the rationale for regulation and offers a different rationale and suggests some solutions to current concerns.
Working paper no. 3 - The fifty most important papers in the economics of regulation ( PDF 720.67 KB ) An attempt is made to put the paper in its historical context, to explain the key contribution of the paper and show the impact of the paper on subsequent practical and theoretical developments.
Working paper no. 2 - Evaluating infrastructure reforms and regulation ( PDF 1.52 MB ) A comprehensive coverage of the issues that can arise and the methods that can be used in conducting ex post evaluations of competition, institutional and regulatory reforms affecting economic infrastructure in key areas including energy, communications, water and transport.
Working paper no. 1 - Evolution of infrastructure regulation in Australia ( PDF 1.68 MB ) An overview of historical developments and outline of the current form of economic regulation for telecommunication, posts, airports, energy, rail, ports, shipping, water and petrol.

Discussion papers

Paper Description
Estimating the cost of debt: a possible way forward, April 2013 ( PDF 1 MB | DOC 8.35 MB ) Suggests that the cost of debt for regulated businesses could be estimated using a debt portfolio approach without annual adjustments.