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Behind the scenes of the telecommunications miracle: An empirical analysis of the Indian market

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  • Biancini, Sara

Abstract

The paper analyzes the demand and supply characteristics of the Indian telecommunications market, with the aim of contributing to the debate on the effectiveness of universal access policies in developing countries. The discussion is supported by some empirical evidence derived from a small time-series-cross-section dataset, containing mainly information on the fixed-lines segment of the market. The analysis suggests that the price elasticity of demand for fixed lines might be sensibly higher than the levels usually found in developed countries, while the crucial role of income and other sociodemographic variables seems to be confirmed. The paper also studies the impact of cellular penetration on fixed-lines diffusion. The results suggest the existence of a (positive) network effect in low penetration areas, while substitution (displacement) seems to arise in the most developed ones. Finally, the paper analyzes the supply side of the market, to assess the impact of market competition on investment. Competition seemingly helps stimulating investment in the most developed areas, but does not seem to have a significant impact in the less developed ones.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Telecommunications Policy.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 238-249

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Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:238-249

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Keywords: Telecommunications demand Universal service Competition Developing countries India;

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  1. Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W & Flynn, Joseph E, 1990. "Cross-Subsidization in Telecommunications: Beyond the Universal Service Fairy Tale," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 231-49, September.
  2. Hausman, Jerry & Tardiff, Timothy & Belinfante, Alexander, 1993. "The Effects of the Breakup of AT&T on Telephone Penetration in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 178-84, May.
  3. Lisa M. George & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "The New York Times and the Market for Local Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 435-447, March.
  4. Robert Jensen, 2007. "The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 879-924, 08.
  5. Rouvinen, Petri, 2004. "Diffusion of Digital Mobile Telephony - Are Devoloping Countries Different?," Discussion Papers 901, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. Gruber, H. & Verboven, F.L., 1998. "The Diffusion of Mobile Telecommunications Services in the European Union," Discussion Paper 1998-138, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Garbacz, Christopher & Thompson, Herbert G, 2002. "Estimating Telephone Demand with State Decennial Census Data from 1970-1990," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 317-29, May.
  8. Lars-Hendrik Roller & Leonard Waverman, 2001. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 909-923, September.
  9. Madden, Gary G & Coble-Neal, Grant, 2004. "Economic determinants of global mobile telephony growth," MPRA Paper 10828, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. F. Gasmi & J. J. Laffont & W. W. Sharkey, 1999. "Empirical Evaluation of Regulatory Regimes in Local Telecommunications Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 61-93, 03.
  11. Daniel Ackerberg & Michael Riordan & Gregory Rosston & Bradley Wimmer, 2009. "Low-Income Demand for Local Telephone Service: Effects of Lifeline and Linkup," Discussion Papers 08-047, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Aug 2009.
  12. Garbacz, Christopher & Thompson, Herbert G, Jr, 2003. "Estimating Telephone Demand with State Decennial Census Data from 1970-1990: Update with 2000 Data," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 373-78, November.
  13. Eriksson, Ross C & Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1998. "Targeted and Untargeted Subsidy Schemes: Evidence from Postdivestiture Efforts to Promote Universal Telephone Service," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 477-502, October.
  14. Gasmi, F. & Laffont, J. J. & Sharkey, W. W., 2000. "Competition, universal service and telecommunications policy in developing countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 221-248, September.
  15. Sridhar, Kala Seetharan & Sridhar, Varadharajan, 2007. "Telecommunications Infrastructure And Economic Growth: Evidence From Developing Countries," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 7(2), pages 37-56.
  16. Das, Pinaki & Srinivasan, P. V., 1999. "Demand for telephone usage in India," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 177-194, July.
  17. repec:reg:wpaper:125 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Garbacz, Christopher & Thompson, Herbert G, Jr, 1997. "Assessing the Impact of FCC Lifeline and Link-Up Programs on Telephone Penetration," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 67-78, January.
  19. Clarke, George R.G. & Wallsten, Scott J., 2002. "Universal(ly bad) service - providing infrastructure services to rural and poor urban consumers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2868, The World Bank.
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