Taxi and private hire vehicle regulation: A briefing


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This paper seeks to contribute to the deliberations of the Task and Finish
Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licensing.


Price and quantity regulations, as well as statutory vehicle and driver standards, for the taxi and PHV sector have long been justified on grounds of imperfect information (OECD 2008). The nature of taxi markets in the pre-digital era was such that searching (finding and sorting through the available alternatives) and bargaining (negotiating a fare) could not be done in competitive conditions with adequate information. Providers would in many cases have a temporary monopoly on passengers. However, for a number of years it has been the case that technological advances have rendered much regulation obsolete. The emergence of platforms whose value proposition is precisely the reduction of transaction costs means that regulatory intervention is, in most instances, no longer needed. It is in the business interest of platforms to provide a safe, secure and friendly environment for drivers and passengers to interact.

Author Diego Zuluaga wrote for ConservativeHome following the release of this briefing.

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Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives

Diego was educated at McGill University and Keble College, Oxford, from which he holds degrees in economics and finance. His policy interests are mainly in consumer finance and banking, capital markets regulation, and multi-sided markets. However, he has written on a range of economic issues including the taxation of capital income, the regulation of online platforms and the reform of electricity markets after Brexit. Diego’s articles have featured in UK and foreign outlets such as Newsweek, City AM, CapX and L’Opinion. He is also a frequent speaker on broadcast media and at public events, as well as a lecturer at the University of Buckingham.