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The Impact of Structural and Contractual Arrangements on a Vertically Separated Railway

  • Luisa Affuso

    (London Business School)

  • David Newbery

    (University of Cambridge)

The unbundling of railways in Britain has been heavily criticised as undermining the passenger rail system. Economic theory suggests that structural separation and short-lived contracts hinder incentives to invest in relation-specific assets. This paper consitutes an initial investigation of this proposition. It investigates whether the investment pattern of the rail passenger franchisees responds to structural and contractual characteristics using a unique panel of data on the privatised railways in Britain. Its findings suggest that unbundling and competition for franchises combined with commercial objectives can provide strong incentives towards better performance, as is the case for investment behaviour.

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File URL: http://www.esr.ie/vOL33_1Affuso.pdf
File Function: First version, 2002
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Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 83-92

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:33:y:2002:i:1:p:83-92
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  1. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1993. "An Exact Soultion for the Investment and Market Value of a Firm Facing Uncertainty, Adjustment Costs, and Irreversibility," NBER Working Papers 4412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  3. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-84, December.
  4. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  5. Edlin, Aaron S & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1996. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 478-501, June.
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