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Railroad Costs and Competition: The Implications of Introducing Competition to Railroad Networks

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  • John D. Bitzan
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    Abstract

    This study examines the cost implications of competition over existing US freight rail lines by testing for the condition of cost subadditivity. The study finds: (1) that there are economies associated with vertically integrated roadway maintenance and transport, suggesting that separating the two would result in increased resource costs; and (2) railroads are natural monopolies in providing transport services over their own network, suggesting that multiple-firm competition over such a network would result in increased resource costs. These findings suggest that policies introducing rail competition through "open access" or on bottleneck segments would not be beneficial from a cost perspective. Moreover, the price decreases necessary for the introduction of such competition to be beneficial would be large. © The London School of Economics and the University of Bath 2003

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by London School of Economics and University of Bath in its journal Journal of Transport Economics and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 201-225

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    Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:37:y:2003:i:2:p:201-225

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    Web page: http://www.bath.ac.uk/e-journals/jtep

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    Cited by:
    1. Christian Growitsch & Heike Wetzel, 2006. "Economies of Scope in European Railways: An Efficiency Analysis," Working Paper Series in Economics 29, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    2. Fumitoshi Mizutani & Shuji Uranishi, 2013. "Does vertical separation reduce cost? An empirical analysis of the rail industry in European and East Asian OECD Countries," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 31-59, January.
    3. Siew Hoon Lim & C.A. Knox Lovell, 2009. "Profit and productivity of US Class I railroads," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 423-442.
    4. Merkert, Rico & Nash, Chris A., 2013. "Investigating European railway managers’ perception of transaction costs at the train operation/infrastructure interface," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 14-25.
    5. Andersson, Mats, 2006. "Marginal railway infrastructure cost estimates in the presence of unobserved effects," Working Papers 2006:6, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    6. Thomas Ehrmann & Karl-Hans Hartwig & Torsten Marner & Hendrik Schmale, 2009. "Specific Investments and Ownership Structures in Railways – An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 12, Institute of Transport Economics, University of Muenster.

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