‘Collective Switching’

Our seminar series continues on Friday 12th June with the tremendous Catherine Waddams (CCP and NBS) presenting ‘Collective Switching‘. Catherine is a Professor of Regulation at the Norwich Business School. Her research interests lie in the area of Industrial Organisation, and she has published widely on privatisation, regulation and the introduction of competition into markets, particularly energy markets. An abstract for her presentation can be found below.


We had the opportunity to observe over a hundred thousand ‘real’ switching decisions in the retail energy market by participants in The Big Switch collective switching exercise, organised by Which?, in 2012.  Our main initial findings are that:

1. The probability of switching rises with increases in the gains available;

2. Despite substantial gains available (median value around a tenth of the bill), and very little further effort required to switch, only a third of participants chose to change their supplier;

3.Participants who saw two offers were less likely to switch than those who saw only one.

We are particularly interested in understanding what lies behind this third finding.

The seminar takes place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03.

This presentation is based on the results gathered by CCP during the Big Switch project, in conjunction with the Which? consumer group. You can download the full CCP report at the following link [PDF, 1.75MB].

About CCP
The Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) conducts interdisciplinary research into competition policy and regulation.

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