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Telecommunications Reform, Access Regulation, and Internet Adoption in Latin America

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  • Antonio Estache

    ()

  • Marco Manacorda

    ()

  • Tommaso M. Valletti

    ()

Abstract

The authors review the stylized facts on regulatory reform in telecommunications and its effects on telecommunications development and Internet penetration in Latin America. Relying on data from the International Telecommunication Union, the Information for Development Program (InfoDev), and the World Bank for 1990-99, the authors then test econometrically the determinants of the differences in Internet penetration rates across Latin America. The results show that effective implementation of the reform agenda in telecommunications regulation could accelerate adoption of the Internet in Latin America-even though it is only part of the solution (income levels, income distribution, and access to primary infrastructure are the main determinants of growth in Internet connections and use). Regulation will work by cutting costs. Cost cutting will require that regulators in the region take a much closer look at the design of interconnection rules and at the tradeoffs that emerge from the complex issues involved. It will also require a commitment to developing analytical instruments, such as cost models, to sort out many of the problems. Appropriate cost models will generate benchmarks that are much more consistent with the local issues and with the local cost of capital than international benchmarks will ever be for countries in unstable macroeconomic situations. Cost cutting will require an equally strong commitment to imposing regulatory accounting systems that reduce the information asymmetrics that incumbents use to reduce the risks of entry. All these changes will ultimately require a stronger commitment by competition agencies, since in many countries a failure to negotiate interconnection agreements will raise competition issues just as often as it will raise regulatory questions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION in its journal JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA.

Volume (Year): (2002)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008693

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Keywords: Telecommunications; internet penetration; regulation; cost models; Latin America;

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References

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  1. Kiiski, Sampsa & Pohjola, Matti, 2002. "Cross-country diffusion of the Internet," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 297-310, June.
  2. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Installed Base and Compatibility With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 385, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Estache, Antonio & Gomez-Lobo, Andres & Leipziger, Danny, 2001. "Utilities Privatization and the Poor: Lessons and Evidence from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1179-1198, July.
  4. Gasmi, Farid & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Sharkey, William, 1999. "Competition, Universal Service and Telecommunications Policy in Developing Countries," IDEI Working Papers 92, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  6. Gutierrez, Luis H., 2003. "Regulatory governance in the Latin American telecommunications sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 225-240, December.
  7. Mark Armstrong, 2001. "Access Pricing, Bypass, and Universal Service," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 297-301, May.
  8. Antonio Estache & V. Foster & Q. Wodon, 2002. "Accounting for Poverty in Infrastructure Reform: Learning from Latin America's Experience," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44108, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 2001. "Competition in Telecommunications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262621509, December.
  10. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  11. Armstrong, Mark, 2001. "The theory of access pricing and interconnection," MPRA Paper 15608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Gutierrez, Luis H. & Berg, Sanford, 2000. "Telecommunications liberalization and regulatory governance: lessons from Latin America," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(10-11), pages 865-884, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Chinn, Menzie David & Fairlie, Robert W, 2004. "The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide: A cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt6hz053p3, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Luis A. Andrés & J. Luis Guasch & Thomas Haven & Vivien Foster, 2008. "The Impact of Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure : Lights, Shadows, and the Road Ahead," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6545, October.
  3. Antonio Estache & Ana Goicoechea & Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Telecommunications Reform and Performance – A Global View," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(3), pages 16-21, October.
  4. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2006. "ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration," Working Papers 06-03, NET Institute, revised Sep 2006.
  5. repec:cuf:journl:y:2014:v:15:i:2:calderon:serven is not listed on IDEAS
  6. César Calderón & Luis Servén, 2004. "The Effects of Infrastructure Development on Growth and Income Distribution," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 270, Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Cuberes, David, 2008. "The Diffusion of Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 8433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Andres, Luis & Foster, Vivien & Guasch, Jose Luis, 2006. "The impact of privatization on the performance of the infrastructure sector : the case of electricity distribution in Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3936, The World Bank.
  9. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Manacorda, Marco, 2006. "Telecommunications performance, reforms, and governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3822, The World Bank.
  10. Calderon, Cesar & Serven, Luis, 2008. "Infrastructure and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4712, The World Bank.
  11. Andres, Luis & Cuberes, David & Diouf, Mame Astou & Serebrisky, Tomas, 2007. "Diffusion of the internet : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4420, The World Bank.

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