Economics of the Energy Industries, Second Edition, examines the industry, in general, and its component industries (petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear, and alternative fuels). Dr. William Peirce blends technical and historical information about the component industries and analyzes the mixture with economic tools. The text provides the reader with a combination of the analytical concepts, the historical and institutional background necessary to understand the role of energy in modern economies, and the issues involved in public policy related to energy. Dr. Peirce incorporates environmental issues as well as the current status of industry regulation in his thorough and completely revised edition.
The book is organized into three parts. Part I is based on a literature survey that roams widely through economics, political science, sociology, public administration, and various related bodies of knowledge. Although much of this was unfamiliar terrain for an economist, the route was defined by the objective of identifying the conditions predisposing to failure. Part II contains 11 brief case studies that are based on reports by the United States General Accounting Office. Relying on this source permitted coverage of a broad selection of the nonmilitary activities of the government. Part III reexamines the hypotheses developed from the literature in the light of the cases and other studies of implementation. The final chapter consists of the author’s reflections on the implications of bureaucratic failure.