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Free Entry and the Sustainability of Natural Monopoly

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  • John C. Panzar
  • Robert D. Willig
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    Abstract

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, a regulated natural monopoly may be vulnerable to entry by uninnovative competitors even if it is producing and pricing efficiently and earning zero economic profits. The causes and consequences of this unsustainability are theoretically examined in an idealized regulatory environment. In particular, strong demand substitution effects and product-specific scale economies work against sustainability. If natural monopoly is unsustainable, no regulated market structure which provides the entire product set can be sustainable.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 8 (1977)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
    Pages: 1-22

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    Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:8:y:1977:i:spring:p:1-22

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    Cited by:
    1. Wayne Y. Lee & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "Regulatory Pricing and Capital Investment under Asymmetric Information about Cost," Finance 0411022, EconWPA.
    2. Maegli, Martin & Jaag, Christian, 2009. "Regulatory Governance Costs in Network Industries: Implicatins for postal Regulation," MPRA Paper 15309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Martin Maegli & Christian Jaag & Matthias Finger, 2009. "Coûts de la régulation des industries de réseau: enseignements du réseau postal," Working Papers 0015, Swiss Economics.
    4. Dreze, Jacques & Le Breton, Michel & Savvateev, Alexei & Weber, Shlomo, 2006. "0.19% Subsidy-Free Spatial Pricing," IDEI Working Papers 423, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    5. M. Maegli & C. Jaag & M. Finger, 2010. "Regulatory Governance Costs in Network Industries: Observations in Postal Regulation," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 11(2), pages 207-238, June.
    6. Wayne Y. Lee & Anjan V. Thakor, 1982. "Optimal Regulatory Pricing Under Asymmetric Cost Information," Discussion Papers 580, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. Iehlé, Vincent, 2008. "Sustainability in a multiproduct and multiple agent contestable market," MPRA Paper 13013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Thompson, Fred & Zumeta, William, 2001. "Effects of key state policies on private colleges and universities: sustaining private-sector capacity in the face of the higher education access challenge," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 517-531, December.
    9. Holguin-Veras, Jose & Jara-Diaz, Sergio, 1998. "Optimal pricing for priority service and space allocation in container ports," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 81-106, April.
    10. Leonard J. Mirman & Yair Tauman & Israel Zang, 1985. "Supportability, Sustainability, and Subsidy-Free Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 114-126, Spring.
    11. Edward M. Iacobucci & Michael J. Trebilcock & Tracey D. Epps, 2007. "Rerouting the Mail: Why Canada Post is Due for Reform," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 243, February.
    12. Knieps, Günter, 2004. "Limits to the (De-)Regulation of Transport Services," Discussion Papers 99, University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
    13. J.C. Panzar & AW. Postlewaite, 1982. "Sustainable Outlay Schedules," Discussion Papers 626, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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