This paper explores some reasons why the alignment between governance and technology in infrastructures may be unstable or not easy to achieve. Focusing on the electricity industry, we claim that the decentralization of governance – an essential step towards a decentralized technical coordination - may be hampered by if deregulation magnifies behavioural uncertainties and asset specificities; and that in a technically decentralized system, political demand for centralized coordination may arise if the players are able to collude and lobby, and if such practices lead to higher electricity rates and lower efficiency. Our claims are supported by insights coming from approaches as diverse as transaction cost economics, the competence-based view of the firm, and political economy.
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