Abstract: Economists and Energy Policy in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States since 1945

Martin Chick


This paper examines the use of marginal approaches to pricing and investment in the electricity industries of France, Britain, and the United States between 1945 and the late 1970s. It traces the different rate at which each country moved toward marginal-cost based tariff structures and discounted investment appraisal and suggests that the speed with which economic theory found practical application was strongly influenced by the differing political and economic circumstances of each economy. The paper examines the flow of ideas between economists, politicians, and industrialists within and between each country.