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How concentrated are global infrastructure markets?

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  • Benitez, Daniel
  • Estache, Antonio

Abstract

In infrastructure, the possibility of a positive relationship between operators'profitability and the degree of concentration is a major political issue in view of the wide diversity of feelings about the potential role of the private sector. This is particularly important in view of (i) the large residual degree of monopolies, (ii) the protection they are granted through exclusivity clauses built in service delivery contracts and (iii) the widespread sense that the same operators tend to be present in most of the privatized operations. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a first set of quantitative assessments of the degree of concentration in infrastructure at the global and at the regional level. Concentration issues were identified in only about 20 percent of the cases studied, a presumption of concentration was found in another 30 percent of the cases. We find no correlation between the degree of concentration and the degree of reform adopted by a region or a sector. In more general terms, we find no scope for simple encompassing regional or sectoral statements because issues are region- and sector-specific. We conclude by arguing that there are a few cases and regions in which it would make sense for a supranational competition or regulation agency to ensure that the interests of the users are protected more effectively against the risks of collusion and other types of anti-competitive behaviors local regulators would not be equipped to address.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3513.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3513

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Keywords: Earth Sciences&GIS; Environmental Economics&Policies; Health Economics&Finance; Markets and Market Access; Decentralization; Markets and Market Access; Access to Markets; Environmental Economics&Policies; Earth Sciences&GIS; Health Economics&Finance;

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Cited by:
  1. Russell Pittman, 2009. "Railway Mergers and Railway Alliances: Competition Issues and Lessons for Other Network Industries," EAG Discussions Papers 200902, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  2. Antonio Estache & Jose-Luis Guasch & Atsushi Iimi & Lourdes Trujillo, 2009. "Multidimensionality and Renegotiation: Evidence from Transport-Sector Public-Private-Partnership Transactions in Latin America," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 41-71, September.
  3. Russell Pittman, 2009. "Competition Issues in Restructuring Ports and Railways, Including Brief Consideration of these Sectors in India," EAG Discussions Papers 200906, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  4. Antonio Estache & Atsushi Iimi, 2010. "Bidder Asymmetry in Infrastructure Procurement: Are There any Fringe Bidders?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 163-187, March.
  5. Kenny, Charles & Soreide, Tina, 2008. "Grand Corruption in Utilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4805, The World Bank.
  6. Tan, Jeff, 2012. "The Pitfalls of Water Privatization: Failure and Reform in Malaysia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2552-2563.

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