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Behind the Scenes of the Telecommunications Miracle: An Empirical Analysis of the Indian Market

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  • Sara Biancini

Abstract

We analyze the demand and supply characteristics of the Indian telecommunications market, in order to assess the potential effectiveness of universal access policies in developing countries. We provide some empirical evidence on the supply and demand characteristics, using a small time-series-cross-section dataset on Indian States. We suggest that the price elasticity of demand for mainlines 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. We also study the impact of cellular penetration, identifying a (positive) network effect in low penetration areas and some evidence of substitution (displacement) in the most developed ones. We finally analyze the supply side of the market, trying to assess the impact of market competition on investment: competition seemingly helps stimulating investment in the most developed areas, but has probably no significant impact in the less developed ones.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3286.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3286

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Keywords: telecommunications demand; universal service; competition; developing countries; India;

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  1. Roger G. Noll & Scott J. Wallsten, 2005. "Universal Telecommunications Service in India," India Policy Forum, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 2(1), pages 255-288.
  2. Rouvinen, Petri, 2004. "Diffusion of Digital Mobile Telephony - Are Devoloping Countries Different?," Discussion Papers 901, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Gruber, Harald & Verboven, Frank, 1999. "The Diffusion of Mobile Telecommunications Services in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 2054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Waverman, Leonard, 2000. "Telecommunications Infrastructure And Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 2399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Daniel Ackerberg & Michael Riordan & Gregory Rosston & Bradley Wimmer, 2008. "Low-Income Demand for Local Telephone Service: Effects of Lifeline and Linkup," Discussion Papers 07-032, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  10. 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.
  11. Madden, Gary G & Coble-Neal, Grant, 2004. "Economic determinants of global mobile telephony growth," MPRA Paper 10828, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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