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Quantifying the Benefits of Entry into Local Phone Service

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  • Nicholas Economides
  • Katja Seim
  • V. Brian Viard

Abstract

In this paper, we evaluate the consumer welfare effects of entry into residential local phone service in New York State. Residential local phone service competition was an important goal of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. We provide a detailed evaluation of its effects on consumer welfare using household-level data on service choices from the third quarter of 1999 to the first quarter of 2003. Our results indicate that as a result of entry households that subscribe to one of the entrants' services gain on average an equivalent of $2.33 per month in overall welfare from local telecommunications services, or 6.2% of the households' average bill. Averaged across all households including those that remain with the incumbent, households gain the equivalent of $0.83 per month, although benefits vary dramatically across households. Since residential local phone service is sold under a menu of nonlinear tariffs, we develop a method for estimating a mixed discrete/continuous demand model. The econometric model incorporates the simultaneity of the discrete plan and continuous consumption choices by consumers. We allow for flat-rate plans, bundling of services, and unobservable firm quality. Taking advantage of the detailed nature of the data, we decompose the households' overall gains from entry and find that benefits due to firm differentiation and new plan introductions exceed those from price effects.

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File URL: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/networks/Local_Telecommunications.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-17.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:05-17

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Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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  4. Hendel, Igal, 1999. "Estimating Multiple-Discrete Choice Models: An Application to Computerization Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 423-46, April.
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  7. Kenneth E. Train & Daniel L. McFadden & Moshe Ben-Akiva, 1987. "The Demand for Local Telephone Service: A Fully Discrete Model of Residential Calling Patterns and Service Choices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 109-123, Spring.
  8. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  9. Shane Greenstein & Michael Mazzeo, 2006. "THE ROLE OF DIFFERENTIATION STRATEGY IN LOCAL TELECOMMUNICATION ENTRY AND MARKET EVOLUTION: 1999-2002 -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 323-350, 09.
  10. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
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  12. Zolnierek, James & Eisner, James & Burton, Ellen, 2001. "An Empirical Examination of Entry Patterns in Local Telephone Markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 143-59, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Ching-I Huang, 2013. "Intra-household effects on demand for telephone service: Empirical evidence," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 231-261, June.
  2. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Claudio Lucarelli & Eugenio J. Miravete & M. Christopher Roebuck, 2012. "Sinking, Swimming, or Learning to Swim in Medicare Part D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2639-73, October.
  3. Ingo Vogelsang, 2013. "The Endgame of Telecommunications Policy? A Survey," Review of Economics, , vol. 64(3), pages 193-269.
  4. Pérez Montes, Carlos, 2013. "Regulatory bias in the price structure of local telephone service," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 462-476.
  5. Jean-Pierre Dubé & K. Sudhir & Andrew Ching & Gregory Crawford & Michaela Draganska & Jeremy Fox & Wesley Hartmann & Günter Hitsch & V. Viard & Miguel Villas-Boas & Naufel Vilcassim, 2005. "Recent Advances in Structural Econometric Modeling: Dynamics, Product Positioning and Entry," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 209-224, December.
  6. Jiyoung Kim, 2006. "A Structural Analysis for Consumer's Dynamic Switching Decision in the Cellular Service Industry," Working Papers 06-24, NET Institute, revised Oct 2006.
  7. Anja Lambrecht & Katja Seim & Naufel Vilcassim & Amar Cheema & Yuxin Chen & Gregory Crawford & Kartik Hosanagar & Raghuram Iyengar & Oded Koenigsberg & Robin Lee & Eugenio Miravete & Ozge Sahin, 2012. "Price discrimination in service industries," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 423-438, June.
  8. Miravete, Eugenio J, 2007. "Competing with Menus of Tariff Options," CEPR Discussion Papers 6279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Huang, Ching-I, 2007. "Estimating Demand for Cellular Phone Service under Nonlinear Pricing," MPRA Paper 6459, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Ingo Vogelsang, 2014. "Will the U.S. and EU Telecommunications Policies Converge? A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 4843, CESifo Group Munich.

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