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Assessing effects of price regulation in retail payment systems

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  • Kemppainen , Kari

    ()
    (Bank of Finland Research)

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    Abstract

    This paper considers effects of price regulation in retail payment systems by applying the model of tele-communications competition by Laffont-Rey-Tirole (1998). In our two-country model world there is one retail payment network located in each country and markets are segmented à la Hotelling. We show that the optimal price under price regulation is the weighted average of pre-regulation domestic and cross-border prices where the degree of home-bias in making payments serves as the weight. Furthermore, we find that the general welfare effects of price regulation are ambiguous: gross social welfare is higher un-der price discrimination than under price regulation in the special case where costs of access to banking services (transportation costs) are high. However, there also exist cases where prohibitively high transac-tion costs make price discrimination to reduce total welfare. Finally, if transportation costs are reduced sufficiently, segmentation of payment markets is eliminated. Markets then become fully-served as in the original Laffont-Rey-Tirole model, suggesting that price discrimination would be beneficial for welfare.

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    File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/julkaisut/tutkimukset/keskustelualoitteet/Documents/0519netti.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 19/2005.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 11 Jul 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:2005_019

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    Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
    Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/
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    Keywords: payment systems; price regulation; retail payments;

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    1. Dessein, Wouter, 2003. " Network Competition in Nonlinear Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(4), pages 593-611, Winter.
    2. Kemppainen, Kari, 2003. "Competition and regulation in European retail payment systems," Research Discussion Papers 16/2003, Bank of Finland.
    3. Armstrong, Mark, 1998. "Network Interconnection in Telecommunications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 545-64, May.
    4. Robin Mason & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2001. "Competition in Communication Networks: Pricing and Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 389-415.
    5. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
    6. THISSE, Jacques-François & VIVES, Xavier, . "On the strategic choice of spatial price policy," CORE Discussion Papers RP -793, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
    8. Lederer, Phillip J & Hurter, Arthur P, Jr, 1986. "Competition of Firms: Discriminatory Pricing and Location," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 623-40, May.
    9. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
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