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Telecommunications Reform, Access Regulation, and Internet Adoption in Latin America

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  • Antonio Estache

    ()

  • Marco Manacorda

    ()

  • Tommaso M. Valletti

    ()

Abstract

The authors review the stylized facts on regulatory reform in telecommunications and its effects on telecommunications development and Internet penetration in Latin America. Relying on data from the International Telecommunication Union, the Information for Development Program (InfoDev), and the World Bank for 1990-99, the authors then test econometrically the determinants of the differences in Internet penetration rates across Latin America. The results show that effective implementation of the reform agenda in telecommunications regulation could accelerate adoption of the Internet in Latin America-even though it is only part of the solution (income levels, income distribution, and access to primary infrastructure are the main determinants of growth in Internet connections and use). Regulation will work by cutting costs. Cost cutting will require that regulators in the region take a much closer look at the design of interconnection rules and at the tradeoffs that emerge from the complex issues involved. It will also require a commitment to developing analytical instruments, such as cost models, to sort out many of the problems. Appropriate cost models will generate benchmarks that are much more consistent with the local issues and with the local cost of capital than international benchmarks will ever be for countries in unstable macroeconomic situations. Cost cutting will require an equally strong commitment to imposing regulatory accounting systems that reduce the information asymmetrics that incumbents use to reduce the risks of entry. All these changes will ultimately require a stronger commitment by competition agencies, since in many countries a failure to negotiate interconnection agreements will raise competition issues just as often as it will raise regulatory questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Estache & Marco Manacorda & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2002. "Telecommunications Reform, Access Regulation, and Internet Adoption in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 153-218, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008693
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2007. "The determinants of the global digital divide: a cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 16-44, January.
    2. Cuberes, David, 2008. "The Diffusion of Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 8433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Calderon, Cesar & Serven, Luis, 2008. "Infrastructure and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4712, The World Bank.
    4. Calderon, Cesar & Serven, Luis, 2014. "Infrastructure, growth, and inequality : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7034, The World Bank.
    5. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Manacorda, Marco, 2006. "Telecommunications performance, reforms, and governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3822, The World Bank.
    6. repec:cuf:journl:y:2014:v:15:i:2:calderon:serven is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:4:y:2006:i:3:p:14567469 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Vivien Foster & José Luis Guasch & Luis Andrés & Thomas Haven, 2008. "The Impact of Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure: Lights, Shadows, and the Road Ahead," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59818, February.
    9. Luis A. Andrés & J. Luis Guasch & Thomas Haven & Vivien Foster, 2008. "The Impact of Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure : Lights, Shadows, and the Road Ahead," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6545.
    10. Alleman, James & Rappoport, Paul, 2014. "Regulation of Latin American's Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Sector: An empirical analysis," 20th ITS Biennial Conference, Rio de Janeiro 2014: The Net and the Internet - Emerging Markets and Policies 106842, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    11. Lin, Mao-Shong & Wu, Feng-Shang, 2013. "Identifying the determinants of broadband adoption by diffusion stage in OECD countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 241-251.
    12. Antonio Estache & Ana Goicoechea & Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Telecommunications Reform and Performance – A Global View," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(3), pages 16-21, October.
    13. César Calderón & Luis Servén, 2004. "The Effects of Infrastructure Development on Growth and Income Distribution," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 270, Central Bank of Chile.
    14. repec:idb:idbbks:358 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Andres, Luis & Foster, Vivien & Guasch, Jose Luis, 2006. "The impact of privatization on the performance of the infrastructure sector : the case of electricity distribution in Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3936, The World Bank.
    16. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2010. "ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 153-167, February.
    17. Andres, Luis & Cuberes, David & Diouf, Mame Astou & Serebrisky, Tomas, 2007. "Diffusion of the internet : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4420, The World Bank.
    18. Li, Raymond & Shiu, Alice, 2012. "Internet diffusion in China: A dynamic panel data analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 872-887.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Telecommunications; internet penetration; regulation; cost models; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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