Martin Cave

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Martin Cave is Professor and Director of the Centre for Management under Regulation at Warwick Business School. Recruited by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), he published the Interim report in October 2008 to the Defra sponsored Review of Competiton and markets in the water industry [1].


"Martin Cave is Professor and Director of the Centre for Management under Regulation at Warwick Business School. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University. Until 2001 he was Professor of Economics and Vice-Principal at Brunel University. He specialises in regulatory economics.

He is co-author of Understanding Regulation (1999) and of Essentials of Modern Spectrum Management (2007), co-editor of the Handbook of Telecommunications Economics Vol. 1 (2002) and Vol. 2 (2005), Digital Broadcasting (2006) and the Oxford Handbook of Regulation (forthcoming), and author of many articles in journals.

As well as his academic work he has also undertaken studies for regulators in the UK and throughout Europe. He was a member of the UK Competition Commission from 1996 to 2002. He is special adviser to European Commissioner Viviane Reding on telecommunications regulation. He has advised airport, energy, postal, telecommunications, water and other regulators throughout the world, and was a non-executive advisory director at OFWAT from 2002 to 2006.

He is responsible for two independent reviews of spectrum management carried out for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and for an independent review of the regulation of social housing for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, published in 2007 as Every Tenant Matters" [2].

Independent Review?

Martin Cave is not hostile to the furtherance of water markets in England and Wales. He argues in an article for Utility Week that "Our test for competition is therefore whether it will benefit end users, especially vulnerable households, work with the grain of the environmental challenge and sustain the efficient financing of the sector.

My provisional thoughts are that it could. This is based in part on the generally - if not universally - beneficial effects of competition in other liberalised sectors, but also the flexibility and efficiency with which the right market-based solutions can deliver environmental outcomes". Moreover, he goes on to state how, "We are confident that competition, where it takes hold, will itself introduce innovation, in ways which we cannot anticipate, particularly where water is priced appropriately" [3].

The newly competitive market for non-domestic customers in Scotland is an example which Martin Cave has paid some attention to [4]. Direct head to head competition is almost universally non-existent, Scotland, despite the fact its a publicly owned water utility, is a rare example for Martin Cave to consider.


  1. Defra Cave Review of Water Markets, Accessed 11 January 2009
  2. Defra, Cave Review of Water Markets Biography of Martin Cave, Accessed 11 January 2009,
  3. Utillity Week Martin Cave's initial findings: there is a good case for water competition, (19th September 2008), Accessed 11 January 2009,
  4. Defra, Independent Review: of competition and innovation in Water Markets, Accessed 11 January