Dupuit and Walras on the Natural Monopoly in Transport Industries: What They Really Wrote and Meant
AbstractIn this article, I analyze and compare the contributions of Dupuit and Walras on the natural monopoly of railroads. Both theorists argued that railroads—as opposed to inland waterways—could not be vertically unbundled, a point that previous authors who compared their views failed to point out. Moreover, until now, Dupuit’s analysis of the railroad monopolies before the Société d’économie politique had been overlooked. This article fills this gap in the literature by showing that Dupuit and Walras both concluded that railroads were better managed under the monopoly regime; however, they drew upon different perspectives. I argue that Dupuit was more pragmatic, using the concept of a “de facto monopoly,” while Walras was more ideological, arguing that the railroad industry was a public utility. In so doing, I underline that Dupuit did not oppose government intervention, counter to a few misrepresentations and fallacies in the literature.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Duke University Press in its journal History of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Duke University Press 905 W. Main Street, Suite 18B Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
Jules Dupuit; Leon Walras; history of economics;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.