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A comparison of rail liberalisation levels across four European countries

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  • Beria, Paolo
  • Quinet, Emile
  • de Rus, Gines
  • Schulz, Carola

Abstract

The paper presents the results of a research on railway regulation and liberalisation in Italy, France, Germany and Spain. The analysed fields of regulation are the relationship between the State and the rail companies, network access conditions by operators, slot allocating and pricing schemes and how public service obligations are defined, paid and regulated. The aim of the paper is to give a comparative overview of the rail regulation from a critical point of view, rather than descriptive. The regulatory frameworks are outlined and then assessed according to their implications on the liberalisation level and on the effective market opening. The conclusions are that the actual level of liberalisation is still scarce and only in some cases the opening level is increasing. Market penetration of newcomers is significant only in niche markets. An issue emerging from the work is the opposing attitude of incumbent railways against liberalisation and the role of decision makers in backing this behaviour. The strategies followed to limit the outcomes of the liberalisation process are different across the country sample. However, all the incumbents argue with the self-referential declaration of efficiency, public service obligations and they claim to be under an excessive and unfair foreign competition. These arguments are yet embedded in legislative, organisational and economic settings supporting these positions like the common ownership of network and services, the permanence of dominant positions and favourable financial conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29142.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29142

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Keywords: railways; liberalisation; regulation; Europe; Italy; France; Germany; Spain;

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References

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  1. Gathon, H.-J. & Pestieau, P., . "Decomposing efficiency into its managerial and its regulatory components: The case of European railways," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1133, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Pittman, Russell, 2007. "Options for Restructuring the State-Owned Monopoly Railway," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 179-198, January.
  3. Friebel, Guido & Ivaldi, Marc & Vibes, Catherine, 2004. "Railway (De)Regulation: A European Efficiency Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4319, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Link, Heike & Nilsson, Jan-Eric, 2005. "Infrastructure," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-83, January.
  5. Nash, Chris, 2008. "Passenger railway reform in the last 20 years - European experience reconsidered," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-70, January.
  6. Russell Pittman, 2004. "Chinese Railway Reform and Competition: Lessons from the Experience in Other Countries," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 38(2), pages 309-332, May.
  7. Waters II, William G., 2007. "Evolution of Railroad Economics," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 11-67, January.
  8. Sánchez-Borràs, Marta & Nash, Chris & Abrantes, Pedro & López-Pita, Andrés, 2010. "Rail access charges and the competitiveness of high speed trains," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 102-109, March.
  9. Eric Monami, 2000. "European passenger rail reforms: A comparative assessment of the emerging models," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 91-112, January.
  10. Alexandersson Gunnar & Hultén Staffan, 2008. "The Swedish Railway Deregulation Path," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolfgang Kerber & Julia Wendel, 2014. "Regulation of Network Sectors in the EU: A Federalist Perspective," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 201422, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Dederke, Julian, 2014. "Bahnliberalisierung in der Europäischen Union: Die Rolle des EuGH als politischer und politisch restringierter Akteur bei der Transformation staatsnaher Sektoren," PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy 20/2014, Free University Berlin, Center for International Political Economy.

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