The objective of the RPI is to promote the study of the regulation of economic activity, for the public benefit and with a view to deepening our understanding of the drivers and impacts, intended and unintended, of a range of public policies, and thereby to contribute to more effective policy development in the future.
The RPI conducts independent and collaborative research, undertakes projects on specific issues, organises seminars and conferences, and publishes relevant material. Most research work is based in Oxford, although larger projects may involve collaboration with other research centres in the UK, EU and elsewhere. Seminars and conferences are generally held in Oxford or London but the RPI also makes contributions globally to relevant events. The range of public policy areas covered by the Institute's activities includes:
- Sectoral regulation in communications, energy, transport (air, rail and road) and water services
- Competition policy and law
- Environmental regulation
- Financial regulation
- Healthcare and pharmaceuticals regulation
Cutting across these specific areas are a number of generic issues in which the Institute has particular interest such as: institutional structures and arrangements, administrative processes and their characteristics, market governance, the supervision and control of regulatory processes, sources of 'regulatory failure', the contribution of regulatory policies to comparative/competitive advantage, risk assessment and control, the impact of regulation on competition, and deregulation and liberalisation.
The RPI aims to maintain diversity in sources of funding, not least so as to underpin its independence and its reputation for authoritative analysis and comment on regulatory policy issues.
The RPI is a registered charity.